Wednesday 20 August 2008

Korean Women's Beach Volleyball Team Wants Another Shot At Glory

In a recent interview, Korea's two best women's beach volleyball teams expressed a wish for another chance to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, after they were eliminated due to a miscommunication over equipment.

"While it's a bit late now, we feel that the rules weren't communicated to us properly," says Jang Yeon-Jung. "We arrived at the tournament expecting all the other teams -- Brazil, Italy, America -- to be on a level playing field, but they all moved around so much more easily than we did." At that qualifying tournament in April, both Korean teams were eliminated from the Olympics.

It seems the coaching staff and qualifying tournament organizers never told either team that high heels were not part of the required outfit for competition.

"We thought," tournament organizer Hai Fongling, "that they'd take the heels off when they got on the court, and then we thought they would when they saw the other women playing barefoot -- but they didn't. One team even stopped play at one point to tape up blisters on one of their feet, but they just never took those heels off."

The two women's pairs that got "bumped": from left, Jang Yeon-Jung, Kim Young-Jung, Park Jang-Yeom, and Lee Jung-Young.

"We did all our training in heels, too," Park Jang-Yeom explained to DokdoIsOurs, "We would have been able to run better and practice longer if our feet hadn't been in constant pain." The two pairs, along with the Korean Olympic commission, is filing a formal protest and applying for a special, provisory ticket into the beach volleyball tournament, already underway, for the four competitors.

When asked why they should be given special admission to the Olympics, the four girls expressed a strong wish to compete, win, and meet "those hot decathletes," Kim Young-Jung giggled, blushing. "I prefer swimmers," Lee Jung-Young said, "I'd love to give Park Tae-Hwan a ride he'll never forget! Oops! I mean, I want to participate in sport at its best!"

"We think that we would have gone over very well on Korean TV and at the Olympics; It's really frustrating to see Jang Mi-Ran go to Gold Medal glory in Beijing, when we could have been there too, and we're much hotter."

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