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Date: 7/13/2014

Korea are on top of the handball world: After gold medals for the Korean women’s team at World Championship and Olympic Games before , now the Women’s Junior Team made their dream come true in Koprivnica. After three silver medals in this age category in 1985, 1989 and 1991 now the team of coach Kyechung Lee made history not only winning their first ever gold medal, but becoming the first ever non-European Women’s Junior Champions.  Korea beat unbeaten team Russia before in a never expected clear final of the World Championship in Croatia on Sunday (13 July) by 34:27.

Two All Star Team players imprinted the final for their teams: Victorious Hyojin Lee - awarded Most Valuable Player of the competition - scored nine goals as well as Russian All Star Team right wing Anna Vyakhireva.

And the Russians - the big favourite for gold after seven wins in seven previous matches were fair losers, cheering for their competitors.


Final: Russia - Korea 27:34 (10:16)

They threw their coach up in the air, they danced their Gangnam style again, they were celebrated by the spectators in Koprivnica for an incredible final performance and an incredible tournament: Korea has made it, frenetically cheered even by the Korean ambassador in Croatia.

Russia were in a state of shock when the halftime whistle was blown. They had expected anything but not a six goal backlog against Korea after 30 minutes. The Asian champions had dissected the European champions in an extreme painful way. First Russia did not have the means to get through the extremely unorthodox Korean 3:3 defence, but were backed by the saves of goalkeeper Kira Trusova. But when the Koreans put the medal to the medal, the Russian completely lost their system, strategy and concentration.

The silver medalists of the 2012 Youth World Championship stopped scoring, were helpless in attack and too slow to return in time to defence. Additionally they defended too tough, so Korea had six minutes with a player more on court - and they grabbed this opportunity to sensationally increase the gap by penalty shots and counter attack goals from 9:6 to a never expected 16:8 in minute 28. The Russian goal machine seemed to be switched off, while the Koreans ran and ran.

Russia clutched at their last straw, and returned on the court with desperate courage. All Star Team player Anna Vyakhireva took the full responsibility for her team, scoring the first four Russian goals after the break to reduce the gap to only 15:18. And in this period the Russians for the first time in the final took the advantage of their tallness in defence and attack.

Anticipating the fate that might come, Korean coach Kyechung Lee took his time-out, re-adjusting the defence system and calling his players by the honour to make history. And they ran again, closing all gaps in defence and scoring from the wing positions as cold as ice to be back on track at 25:19 in minute 47.

And when Hyojin Lee netted in a double strike, it was not only the next six goal advance for 27:21, but from that moment on she was also top scorer of the World Championship. In total Lee scored 64 goals in Croatia. And latest, when the score was 33:25 three minutes before the end, outstanding Lee knew that she is also Junior World Champion.