The ‘self-proclaimed’ Asia’s strongest women’s handball team is set to strike gold. The South Korean women’s handball team, led by head coach Henrik Signell (SWE), will take on Uzbekistan in the first match of the Hangzhou Asian Games Women’s Handball Group A on Friday at 5 p.m. (CET) at Xiaoshan Gymnasium of Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China.
Korean women’s handball is the strongest in Asia. They qualified for their 11th consecutive Olympic Games by winning the Asian Qualification for Paris 2024, which concluded last month in Hiroshima, Japan. The Korean women’s team is the only team in Olympic handball to qualify 11 times in a row for both men and women.
South Korea is also a top performer at the Asian Games. Women’s handball has been a part of the Asian Games since the 1990 Beijing Games. South Korea won five consecutive titles from Beijing to Doha in 2006. In 2010, they lost the crown to China with a third-place finish in Guangzhou. However, they won back-to-back titles in Incheon in 2014 and Jakarta-Palembang in 2018. The goal in Hangzhou is to win the title.
South Korea will face Uzbekistan-Thailand (27th) and Kazakhstan (30th) in the tournament. They are expected to compete for a medal with Japan or China, who will be coming up from Group B.
In an interview with Sports Chosun ahead of the tournament, Signell said, “The goal is to win. I think the coach has a role as a coach and the players have a role as players. I don’t know much about the Asian Games, but after I took over, I realized it’s a really big competition. I want to have a good result. If I win a gold medal, I can be a part of history. Winning is the most important thing.”
Head coach Hollando Freitas’ (PORTUGAL) men’s handball team will hit the ground running on Friday, starting with their first Group B match against Hong Kong. The goal is clear for South Korea. It is to return to the top of the podium after a 13-year absence since the 2010 Guangzhou Games. Men’s handball has been dominated by the Middle East in recent years with Qatar, Bahrain, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Qatar is a strong team that finished as runner-up at the 2015 World Championship. South Korea will face Hong Kong and Qatar in the tournament.안전놀이터
They shouldn’t have any trouble getting through the first group stage, but they’ll need to finish in the top two in the final group to qualify for the best-of-four tournament. “We will meet Qatar not only in the Asian Games, but also in the Asian qualifiers for the Paris Olympics (starting on October 18 in Doha, Qatar),” Freitas said in an interview with Sports Chosun. I think it’s better for our preparation to meet them now. The first goal is the quarterfinals. Of course we have to go there. The final goal is gold. As a foreigner, I’m excited to represent Korea at the Asian Games. It’s important to win a medal, but I’m also passionate about developing Korean handball.”