This photo captured from the website of the International Ice Hockey Federation shows South Korean players in action against Slovakia during their Group E match of the final qualification for the 2022 Winter Olympic women's hockey tournament at Coop Norrbotten Arena in Lulea, northern Sweden, on Sunday. (International Ice Hockey Federation Website)
South Korea will miss the women's hockey tournament at the 2022 Winter Olympics, four years after competing as a host as a historic unified team with North Korea.
South Korea dropped all three games of the final qualifying tournament that wrapped up in Sweden on Sunday (local time). The latest blow came in the form of a 7-1 loss to Slovakia at Coop Norrbotten Arena in Lulea, northern Sweden.
South Korea had earlier lost to France 4-0 and to Sweden 15-0.
At No. 17, South Korea was the lowest-ranked nation in Group E of this tournament. Teams ranked seventh to 15th, plus three teams from a pre-qualification round, were paired into three groups of four. Only the winners of these groups qualified for the next Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Captain Choi Ji-yeon scored South Korea's lone goal of the tournament at 17:19 mark in the first period.
The South Korean men's team also crashed and burned in the qualifying tournament in August.
For the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, South Korea competed in both the men's and women's events as the host country. On the women's side, South Korea and North Korea joined forces at the last minute for the first unified Korean team in any sport in Olympic history.
Neither side won a game, though. The men's team lost four games while scoring three goals and giving up 19. The unified women's team scored twice and surrendered 28 goals in its five losses. (Yonhap)