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Koreans Conquer Japanese Handball League

Posted April. 04, 2007 07:55,   


Koreans currently coaching Japanese handball teams returned home in glory.

Daido Steel men’s handball team head coach Kang Jae-won (43, left) and Omron women’s handball team head coach Hwang Kyeong-yeong (38) visited Korea to participate in the 2007 Seoul Cup East Asia Men’s and Women’s Handball Tournament held at the Jamsil Students’ Stadium on April 3-5. They won last season’s championships in the Japanese men’s and women’s leagues respectively.

Kang, a former world star who was selected by the International Handball Federation as the player of the year in 1988, became Daido Steel head coach in 2005 and swept the 2006-2007 season Japanese men’s handball league while also receiving the best coach award.

Hwang, a former handball player at the Korea National Sport University and Korea Armed Forces Athletic Corps, became the Japanese women’s national handball team head coach in 1998 and Omron head coach in 2005. Hwang also led his team to the women’s handball title.

Daido Steel has other Koreans, including playing coach Cho Beom-yeon, national team center back Baek Won-cheol, and right back Lee Jae-woo. Heo Soon-yeong and Hong Jeong-ho are playing in Omron.

Hwang said proudly, “I stressed basic skills to the Japanese players. I think my style became a model for other Japanese handball teams.” Kang said, “Japanese players are a little behind in application.”

However, both of them think highly of the potential of Japan’s handball.

Kang said, “Japan is ahead in marketing and player training. About 3,500 to 4,000 people come to watch the playoff games. Korean handball games rarely see such a number.” The Japanese league has six women’s and nine men’s teams while Korea has six and five respectively.

Kang pointed out, “Handball players are hardly treated as stars in Korea. Their salary is too low. That needs to be improved.”