Korea beats Japan to clinch spot in Olympics

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Korea beats Japan to clinch spot in Olympics

The men’s national handball team booked its spot in the 2012 London Olympics yesterday, beating Japan 26-21 in the final of the Asian qualifiers.

At SK Handball Stadium in Seoul, which was newly opened on Oct. 23, Korea was expected to coast to a win after previously beating Japan 31-18 during the group qualifiers last month.

However, the game turned out to be tight match, with the first half ending 11-10. The one-point lead was kept until the middle of the second half, but Korea, led by manager Choi Suk-jae, started to show thier superiority late in the game to seal the win on home soil.

With the victory, the team make its fourth consecutive appearance in the Summer Games, starting from the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

The men’s squad joins the women’s team, which has already clinched a spot in the Olympics after playing qualifiers in China last month.

Japan, meanwhile, will have to go through playoff rounds with teams from other continents to earn a spot in the London 2012 Games.


[kjoo@joongang.co.kr]

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