(Official) Kim Yeon-kyung becomes the 6th MVP in history, giving up worries about retirement and playing as an active player "one more challenge" – Daily sports VRESP

Kim Yeon-kyung is expressing her thoughts after receiving an award at the 2023-24 season V-League awards ceremony held on the 8th. Reporter Kim Min-gyu

“I thought a lot about it, and discussed it with the club. I decided to take on the challenge one more time next year for the many fans.”

‘Volleyball Empress’ Kim Yeon-kyung (Heungkuk Life Insurance), who won the 6th Most Valuable Player (MVP) in her career, postpones her retirement and challenges again to win the championship in the 2024-25 season.

Kim Yeon-kyung received the Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) at the 2023-24 V League regular season awards ceremony held at The K Hotel in Yangjae-dong, Seoul on the 8th. He easily defeated Yang Hyo-jin (Hyundai Engineering & Construction, 5 votes) by receiving 20 out of 31 votes from the press corps. Kim Yeon-kyung said, “I am truly grateful. The team finished second and was nominated for MVP, but I did not know if I would receive it. All volleyball players must work together to find out how Korean volleyball can do better.”

This is his 6th MVP award. Kim Yeon-kyung, who was considered the world’s best striker during her prime, played an active role for a long time in overseas markets such as Turkey, Japan, and China. On this day, Kim Yeon-kyung also won the Best 7 Outside Heater category, established in the 2014-15 season, for the fourth time in her career.

Kim Yeon-kyung, who won her 6th individual MVP award, is drawing a heart with her hands at the 2023-24 regular season awards ceremony held on the 8th. Photo = KOVO

As can be seen from the vote percentage, it was predicted early on whether Kim Yeon-kyung would win the award. More attention was focused on ‘Kim Yeon-kyung’s mouth’. Because he was contemplating whether or not she should retire. Kim Yeon-kyung is known for her cool speaking skills, but when asked about her retirement during this season, she avoided answering. That’s how much she had to worry about.

The fact that Kim Yeon-kyung was considering retirement was first reported in February 2023. The volleyball world was shaken by his surprise announcement. Kim Yeon-kyung said, “I’m already in my mid-30s. It’s better to come down when you’re in a high position.”

The reason Kim Yeon-kyung postponed her retirement was due to the regret of not reaching the top. He debuted in the 2005-06 season and left Korea after leading Heungkuk Life Insurance to three championship wins through the 2008-09 season. He returned to the 2020-21 season after 12 years of living abroad and led Heungkuk Life Insurance’s battle for the lead. However, the team, reeling from the school violence controversy of twin sisters Lee Jae-young and Da-young, finished in second place. In the 2022-23 season, despite ranking first in the regular season, they were ‘reverse swept’ by the Korea Expressway Corporation in the championship game.

The third match of the 2023-2024 professional volleyball V-League women’s championship match between Heungkuk Life Insurance and Hyundai Engineering & Construction was held at Samsan World Gymnasium in Incheon on the afternoon of the 1st. Kim Yeon-kyung scores a serve and clenches her fist. Incheon = Reporter Kim Min-gyu

Kim Yeon-kyung won her fifth MVP award in April last year and said, “I decided to play for one more year.” Almost all clubs expressed interest in recruiting Kim Yeon-kyung, who became a free agent (FA) at the time. FAs can sign contracts for up to three years, but Kim Yeon-kyung signed a one-year contract with Heungkuk Life Insurance. This is because he did not know his whereabouts after the end of the 2023-24 season.

Heungkuk Life Insurance was considered the strongest candidate for the championship, but was blocked by Hyundai Engineering & Construction this season and finished in runner-up. In the end, Kim Yeon-kyung chose to extend her career as a player in order to relieve the ‘happiness of winning’.

The third match of the 2023-24 professional volleyball V-League women’s championship match between Heungkuk Life Insurance and Hyundai Engineering & Construction was held at Samsan World Gymnasium in Incheon on the afternoon of the 1st. Kim Yeon-kyung enters amid cheers from fans before the game. Incheon = Reporter Kim Min-gyu

Moreover, his skills are not worthy of retirement. Kim Yeon-kyung scored 775 points this season, ranking first among domestic players (6th overall). Total attack (44.98%) was second. Serve ranks 6th with 0.207 serves per set. In addition to his offense, his fighting spirit stood out as he ranked 5th in receiving, 7th in digs, and 8th in defense.

Meanwhile, in the men’s MVP voting, OK Financial Group foreign player Leonardo Leiva Martinez (registered name Leo) received a total of 15 votes. Leo, who beat Korean Air Lim Dong-hyuk (12 votes) by 3 votes, won his 4th MVP award. Leo has received the award for three consecutive years as a member of Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance. He ranked second in scoring, total offense, and serve in the regular season.

Reporters Lee Hyeong-seok and Ahn Hee-soo

Reporter Lee Hyeong-seok [email protected]

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