South Korea suffered a shock loss to India to start the men's volleyball tournament at the Asian Games in China on Wednesday, taking a wobbly first step in a quest for its 15th consecutive medal at the continental event.
India, ranked 73rd, stunned 27th-ranked South Korea in a five-set battle, 25-27, 29-27, 25-22, 20-25, 17-15 in the teams' first Pool C match at Linping Sports Centre Gymnasium in Hangzhou. This was South Korea's first loss to India in 11 years.
South Korea has won a medal in men's volleyball at every Asiad since 1966.
South Korea will try to regroup against Cambodia on Thursday, back at Linping.
There are five groups of three and one group of four in the preliminary stage. The top two teams from each group will advance to the next phase, which will start Friday.
India, having earlier defeated Cambodia in straight sets, has clinched the top seed in Pool C and booked an early spot in the next round. South Korea can still advance by beating Cambodia on Thursday.
South Korea took the first set 27-25, but India pushed back to take the next two sets. But with their back against the wall, the South Koreans won the fourth set 25-20.
In the deciding fifth set, South Korea rallied from an 8-5 deficit to briefly take an 11-10 lead, only to see India rally to a 13-12 advantage.
Kim Kyu-min hit a spike into the net to set up a match point for India at 14-12.
South Korea battled back to win the next two points and force deuce.
Na Gyeong-bok gave South Korea a 15-14 lead with a spike, but South Korea failed to convert that match point.
India moved to match point after L.M. Manoj blocked Na's spike, and Erin Varghese's block closed out the upset win for India.
Na led all players with 31 points in a losing cause.
India held a 12-6 edge in blocks. South Korea played without veteran outside hitter Jung Ji-seok, who was sidelined with an undisclosed injury.
Source: Yonhap News Agency