Lausanne, Switzerland, April 27, 2020: The Korea Handball Federation is looking to 2020 and the following years to add another string to their bow – beach handball.
Having been dominant in Asia for numerous years indoors, outside on the sand Korea have been non-existent, writes the International Handball Federation. (www.ihf.info)
In fact, Korea have never fielded a team in any of the seven men’s or five women’s editions of the Asian Handball Federation’s Asian Beach Handball Championships since they started in 2004, the Asian Beach Games since it started in 2008 or, indeed, any other global or continental beach championship.
However, that will change over the next few years as the KHF are putting together teams at all levels, starting with a men’s youth side preparing for the 2nd AHF Asian Youth Beach Handball Championship in Thailand in September.
The youngsters will then be closely followed by a men’s senior team that will appear at the OCA’s 6th Asian Beach Games 2020 in Sanya, China from November 28 to December 6.
To select players, open trials and demonstration events have been held with athletes coming through national team selections, including one at Gwangalli Beach in Busan last August.
All players were rated on a combination of their basic physical skills, skills related to handball and understanding of beach handball rules and regulations.
So why did the KHF decide to set up a beach programme, now, in 2020?
“Firstly, as a handball powerhouse in Asia, we need to ensure that we go along and follow international handball trends,” said An Jeong-Hyeon, from the Korean Handball Federation.
“Beach handball has really caught on in recent years with the trend rising not only in Asia, but especially in Europe.
“Further to this, the KHF purpose, interest and passion is to spread a base interest in handball as a whole across our domestic structure and further afield; beach handball – which is another kind of handball – is clearly part of this.”