On the stage of the popular winter sports professional volleyball V-League, veteran players are showing off their ageless performance. One of the fun of watching volleyball this season is appreciating their skills as it is the physiology of professional sports that age is not considered as long as one is skilled.
Hwang Yeon-joo, born in 1986, is at the center of Hyundai E&C, which ranks first in the women’s division with 20 wins and 4 losses. Hwang Yeon-joo, who was the rookie of the year in 2005 and is also the first player ever to score 5,000 points, is making another leap this season, turning 38 in Korean age, and even hears the word ‘second peak’.
Hwang Yeon-joo, who spent a long time in the warm-up zone as a substitute for the past few years, became the main player again because of the injury of a foreign player. Although he only scored 280 points in four seasons from the 2018-2019 season, Yasmin Bedard, a foreign player who was the team’s main gun, fell out due to a back injury, and he is again playing an active role as the main apposite spiker (light). Hwang Yeon-joo is filling the vacancy of Yasmin Bedardt in this position where he has to even attempt a difficult rearguard attack, so Hyundai E&C’s high-altitude march is possible.
Hwang Yeon-joo showed confidence, saying, “Compared to younger players, the recovery speed may be slower, but the athletic ability itself is not.” 스포츠토토
In addition to Hwang Yeon-ju, veteran players are also showing off this season. Jeong Dae-young (Korea Expressway Corporation), who is also active as the ‘eldest sister’ in the women’s team, is also doing her part as a high-efficiency player beyond her role as an older sister. Jeong Dae-young, born in 1981, who joined Hyundai E&C in 1999 before becoming a pro, is now a 24-year-old player.
When he goes out for an interview, he smiles and says, “My knee hurts now,” but his grades prove why he is still active. Jeong Dae-young, who surpassed the 5,500 point mark for the third time in the V-League Women’s Division after Yang Hyo-jin (6861 points) and Hwang Yeon-joo (5726 points), is also showing a rust-free appearance by ranking 4th in blocking. The 0.74 blocking per set is right next to Kim Su-ji (IBK Industrial Bank of Korea), Han Su-ji (GS Caltex), and Yang Hyo-jin, who are the top middle blockers (center) in the nation.
In the men’s division, it would be disappointing if Yeo Oh-hyeon (Hyundai Capital), a playing coach born in 1978, was left out of this field. Yeo Oh-hyun, who also reached the 400th win in a regular season match for the first time in V-League history in January, is maintaining the top spot in receiving efficiency (53.47%) this season as well.
In the past, the Hyundai Capital team expressed its ambition to operate the ’45-year-old project’ so that female coaches can play until the age of 45. As it is now, the project is likely to be completed successfully. Not only does it play well, but it is also highly efficient. It is as Yeo Oh-hyun herself said, “I want to hear that they fly until the end.”