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Korea Wins Women’s Youth Handball World Championship

Korea Wins Women’s Youth Handball World Championship

Korea picked up a victory after beating Denmark in the final of the International Handball Federation Women’s Youth World Championship in Skopje, North Macedonia on Wednesday.

Underdog Korea downed the European powerhouse 31-28 to win the under-18 competition.

It was the first time for Korea to advance to the final since it finished as a runner-up in 2006 when the tournament was first held, so Wednesday’s victory was revenge for Korea, who lost to the Danes at the inaugural tournament.

Korean handball players celebrate after winning the International Handball Federation Women’s Youth World Championship in Skopje, North Macedonia on Wednesday.

The biennial championship had been dominated by European countries, as they often comprise tall players with great offensive skills. Among 32 countries competing in this year’s tournament, Korea was the only non-European team to advance to the quarterfinals.

Korean players, who ranked third at the last two championships, were 168 cm tall on average — 5 cm shorter than their European opponents. To overcome their weakness in height, they went through intensive training to increase their speed and improve the accuracy of their passes.

Thanks to these efforts, Korea was undefeated throughout its journey to the final, beating Switzerland, Germany, Slovakia, Romania, the Netherlands, Sweden and Hungary.

With the tournament canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Russia remained a strong contender after taking the championship titles in 2016 and 2018, but the country was suspended this year following its invasion of Ukraine.

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