Kim Ji-han 25, outside heater, who met at Songlim Gymnasium in Incheon, the practice ground for the men’s volleyball Woori Card, on the 6th, responded, “I had no idea,” to the reporter’s words that the Lunar New Year holiday will soon begin. As a volleyball player, a representative winter professional sports event, this is a natural response. “I think it’s a little sad,” he said, laughing cheerfully. In fact, Kim Ji-han and his team Woori Card have no time to enjoy the holiday atmosphere. An away game in Ansan against OK Financial Group is scheduled on the 9th, the first day of the holiday. Woori Card is currently leading the men’s team with 50 points 17 wins and 9 losses with 10 regular league games left in the 2023-2024 season. Since the fierce ranking battle is underway with “all-time high,” Woori Card can maintain its No. 1 position only when it secures as many points as possible in the remaining games. Kim Ji-han, who has emerged as the team’s “native ace” this season, said firmly, “I will be rewarded with my grades for the sweat I shed during the holidays.”
Two trades, talent that blossomed in Jangchung
Kim Ji-han, who entered the professional league immediately after graduating from high school, is in his sixth season in the V-League, except for his military service. Woori Card is the third team of Kim Ji-han, who has not had long professional experience. Wearing Hyundai Capital’s uniform as the second-ranked player in the second round of the 2017-2018 rookie draft, he was traded to Korea Electric Power Corp. in 2020, when he was in the military sports unit, and was traded to Woori Card once again in 2022, a season after he was discharged from the military service. “I thought, ‘Because I didn’t do well when I was first traded,'” Kim Ji-han said. “I felt a little disappointed because I exercised and prepared a lot on my own during the second trade.” Kim Ji-han was traded to Woori Card shortly after receiving the Rising Star Award at the 2022 KOVO Cup.
Kim quickly dispelled his mischievous thoughts, reading himself that a new opportunity had opened up. “I was disappointed because I thought we were moving the team because Woori Card gave me a good evaluation,” Kim said calmly. Immediately after the 2022-2023 season, which was the first season since his transfer, Kim Ji-han strongly opened the door to opportunity by playing as the team’s main wing striker. After playing a full-time season for the first time since his professional debut, he has jumped higher this season. With meticulous guidance from Woori Card coach Shin Young-chul, Kim has sharpened his specialty of attack. As of Thursday, he has been recording top-ranked performance in major attack indicators, including scoring 390 points, 8th, attack success rate 52.35%, 6th, and serve 0.20 points per set, 9th on average. In addition, he has also taken a leap forward in defense, including receiving. His receiving efficiency, which stood at 25.26 percent last season, rose sharply to 35.03 percent this season.
Woori Card is writing a reversal drama this season with Kim Ji-han, who has grown to a new level. In fact, Woori Card has carried out a rebuilding process that is equivalent to a re-establishment ahead of this season. As uncertainties were high, not many expected Woori Card’s performance. “I think it was a good stimulus because I heard many people pick me as the last candidate,” said Kim Ji-han, who led the team to the lead by eliminating such question marks one by one. “Since it was my first season as a main player, I wanted to perform well and I felt a sense of responsibility to contribute to my team by scoring a lot.”
Beyond Jangchung Idol, he dreams of becoming a “volleyball star.”
Kim Ji-han has been nicknamed “Jangchung Idol” by Woori Card. With his warm-hearted appearance and high-quality volleyball skills, he also plays a big role in attracting Woori Card’s spectators. Woori Card is also active in marketing by selling “Kim Ji-han Set” consisting of peach drinks and popcorn at a cafe inside Jangchung Gymnasium in Seoul, its home stadium. Woori Card is also No. 1 in men’s average attendance 2,853 this season. “When I see fans bring placards and uniforms to the volleyball court, I think they have become popular,” Kim Ji-han said with a smile. “When many fans come to the volleyball court, the players will get excited, so I hope they will become more popular not only for individuals or teams but also for men’s volleyball.”
Kim Ji-han, who was born in 1999 and is still young, is also feeling the problem with the declining popularity of men’s volleyball. Kim is thinking about ways to increase the popularity of men’s volleyball in his own way and putting it into practice. His appearance on Netflix’s “Physical 100,” which was released early last year, is related to this. “I wanted to let people know about me the most, and I also thought it would be nice to have more people interested in volleyball through me,” Kim said. At the recent V-League All-Star Game held at Samsan World Gymnasium in Incheon, Kim Ji-han also introduced various fan services with his peers Lim Sung-jin Korea Electric Power Corporation and Lim Dong-hyuk Korea Air, who are the same age as the “99s.”
He said that the most important thing is to develop “competitiveness” as a volleyball player. Kim Ji-han, who wants to be the “best” in the league, dreams of playing in the Olympics wearing a national team uniform. Performing well in international competitions is the most effective way to revive the fallen popularity of men’s volleyball. Kim Ji-han, who has no experience as an adult national team player yet, said, “I have a dream to go to the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics and produce good results when I reach my prime age as a player.” Kim Ji-han’s eyes turned to the present again, looking through her past and future during the interview with a reporter. First of all, Kim Ji-han, who expressed her bold ambition to become an indispensable “Ace” in the team, said, “Both me and the team are looking to win the championship,” and added, “As many fans have shown their support, I will make sure to produce results.” 바카라사이트 추천