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Handball Drama

Posted May. 24, 2005 03:38,   


The women’s final handball game of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games between Korea and Denmark was played last August 29.

The Korean National Team played a close game against the world’s best team, Denmark, for over two hours. The score after two halves was tied at 25-25, and after the first overtime, it was still tied 29-29. Both teams played a second overtime, which also ended up tied at 32-32. Korea and Denmark kept tying the game 17 times.

At the end, the fate of both teams was decided on penalty shots. Korea lost the shootout 2-4 and won silver medal, but did not lose that day’s game.

The Korean players and coaching staff, overcoming the difficulty of being an unpopular sport, made it all the way to the top level of play in the world, hugged each other, and swallowed their tears, while we were moved by their fighting spirit.

For those fans who cannot forget that day’s great match, chosen as the best game of the Athens Olympics, both teams will meet again after nine months. The Korean and Danish women’s handball teams will duel it out for the title of the world’s greatest on May 26 at 6:20 p.m. at the Seoul Olympic Second Stadium (Fencing Stadium).

The top-class players that led Denmark to victory at the Olympics such as Karen, Josephine and goalkeeper Karin will be among the 20 players that will play in the upcoming match.

The Korean squad will counter with Lee Sang-eun and Woo Sun-hee, both of whom played superbly in Athens, and young hopeful players such as Moon Pil-hee, Kang Ji-hye, and Song Hae-rim.

The coach of the national team, Lim Young-chul, said, “Although our team has the burden of only having practiced together for one month, we will play with fighting spirit and avenge our loss in Athens.”

The Korean Handball Federation is preparing to revive enthusiasm for handball through this game. To this end, it has made thorough preparations, such as investing 100 million won to change the stadium’s floor material. Tickets to the game cost 3,000 won.

KHF’s Executive Director Koh Byung-hoon said, “It’s ok to expect a great match. We expect that handball should once again gain the attention of people through this game.”

Jae-Yun Jung jaeyuna@donga.com