South Korea leave Thais winless in Rio de Janeiro
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South Korea leave Thais winless in Rio de Janeiro

Thailand lost all four matches in Rio de Janeiro.
Thailand lost all four matches in Rio de Janeiro.

Thailand ended the first week of the FIVB Volleyball Women's Nations League 2024 preliminary phase in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Sunday without a win.

The last match held at the Maracanazinho stadium in Pool 2 reunited two national teams still looking for their first victories in the VNL 2024 and South Korea came out on top, winning the match 3-1 (25-19, 23-25, 25-16, 25-18).

Thailand, who lost all of their four matches in Rio, now see their dream of qualifying for the Olympic Games in Paris even more distant as they dropped to 14th place in the world rankings with 199.90, expanding the gap between Canada, the last team inside the qualification zone, and them to 90.71 points.

Thailand, who completed the Rio leg with no points and just three sets won, got 32 points from their outside hitter duo of Chatchu-On Moksri (17) and Wipawee Srithong (15).

"This was a tough result for us," said opposite hitter Thanacha Sooksod. "We didn't win any matches this week and made a lot of mistakes in our game. We'll need to reset things and come back. Now we need to focus on the upcoming weeks. We know we can do better and I believe we will."

The Koreans, who were winless in the 2022 and 2023 editions of the VNL and had also dropped their first three matches in Rio, were on the losing side of their last 30 matches in the tournament entering the match against Thailand, with their most recent victory dating back to June 14, 2021, when they defeated Canada.

Outside hitter Kang So-Hwi was instrumental in South Korea's victory, leading the team on the court with 22 points (21 kills, one ace). Opposite and team captain Park Jeong-Ah and fellow outside hitter Jeong Ji-Yun added 16 points each.

Thailand will have a week off before returning to the court from May 28 to June 2. They will play the Dominican Republic on May 28, France on May 31, China on June 1 and Brazil on June 2 in Pool 3 in Macau. 

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