January 18, 2022 10:45
Kim Yeon-koung has been named the world's best female volleyball player of 2021 by volleyballworld.com.
Run by the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB), the website on Sunday announced the No. 1 on its list of last year's 12 best players, which it had counted down over the previous week.
The site said, "2021 was a milestone year for Kim. It was the year during which she retired from the national team, 17 seasons after she debuted for [Korea] in 2005. It was the year she led her country through their third consecutive Olympic participation and to her second Olympic final four."
Kim also led her club, the Heungkuk Life Pink Spiders, to a runner-up finish in the Korean league last season and scored 196 points in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League.
It noted her growing influence on social media, as she saw the number of her followers on Instagram and YouTube each reach 1 million last year. "Kim's huge popularity among fans has made her one of the most followed volleyball players on social media. She became the first volleyballer with more than one million subscribers on YouTube," it said.
Kim was also the most tweeted-about female athlete in the world last year.
Justine Wong-Orantes, the libero of the U.S. national team who won a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, was selected as the second-best player, followed by Italy's Paola Egonu.
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