Women's handball team leave World Championship empty-handed

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Women's handball team leave World Championship empty-handed

Ryu Eun-hee, right, in action against Szimonetta Planeta of Hungary during the Group Three match between Korea and Hungary at the 2021 World Women's Handball Championship in Granollers, Spain on Sunday. [EPA/YONHAP]

Ryu Eun-hee, right, in action against Szimonetta Planeta of Hungary during the Group Three match between Korea and Hungary at the 2021 World Women's Handball Championship in Granollers, Spain on Sunday. [EPA/YONHAP]

 
The Korean national handball team took a 35-28 loss to Hungary on Sunday at Palau d'Esports de Granollers in Granollers, Spain, ending their 2021 IHF World Women's Handball Championship campaign in the group stages. 
 
Korea's bid to reach the quarterfinals for the first time in 12 years had already fallen apart on Friday, when a 37-28 loss to Germany knocked them out of contention. 
 
With just the top two teams advancing to the quarterfinals, Korea were knocked down to third at best after their loss to Germany. After dropping their last match to Hungary, Korea finished in fourth place with two wins and three losses.  
 
In the preliminary rounds that started on Dec. 3, Korea were placed in Group F alongside Denmark, Tunisia and the Congo. After beating the Congo 37-23 and Tunisia 31-29, Korea dropped their third match against Denmark 35-23 to take the runner-up spot. 
 
With the top three from each group advancing to the second group stage, the 24 countries were divided into four groups. Korea were placed in Group Three alongside Denmark, Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic and the Congo. Denmark and Germany advance to the quarterfinals as the top two countries.  
 
Song Ji-young, center, competes against Hungarian players Szimonetta Regina Planeta, left, and Greta Kacsor during a Group Three match between Korea and Hungary at the 2021 World Women's Handball Championship in Granollers, Spain on Sunday. [EPA/YONHAP]

Song Ji-young, center, competes against Hungarian players Szimonetta Regina Planeta, left, and Greta Kacsor during a Group Three match between Korea and Hungary at the 2021 World Women's Handball Championship in Granollers, Spain on Sunday. [EPA/YONHAP]

 
Korea earned their spot at the World Championships at the 2021 Asian Championship in Jordan this September, alongside Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. At the 2021 Asian Championship, Korea took the gold medal after topping the group stage with four wins against Kazakhstan, Hong Kong, Uzbekistan and Singapore. Korea took a decisive 46-21 win against Iran in the semifinals, then beat Japan 33-24 in the finals.
 
Before the Asian Championship, Korea reached the quarterfinals at the Tokyo Olympics, but missed out on a medal after a 39-30 loss to Sweden. Korea struggled in the preliminaries, losing their first match of the Games to Norway then the second to the Netherlands, before getting a win against Japan. Korea lost to Montenegro and drew against Angola. Korea advanced to the quarterfinals thanks to Japan losing to Norway.

BY YUN SO-HYANG [yun.sohyang@joongang.co.kr]
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