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Date: 7/16/2010

The women’s juniors are fighting for World Championship medals for the 17th time whereas it’s the third time that the World Championship takes place in Asia. As already in 1985, the event is hosted and organized by the silver medal winner of the same year, South Korea – a country which has had a large handball tradition and has achieved large successes with regard to both men and women since the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. Especially the women caused quite a stir – by winning the Olympic Games in 1988 or the WCh title in 1995. Now  the juniors from South Korea aim for winning the title as well. South Korea has already finished second at Women’s Junior World Championships not less than three times, not forgetting its four third places – now it’s time for gold in the team’s own country.
For the first time, 24 teams will participate in a Women’s Junior WCh – as many as in Men’s or Women’s World Championships. About 600 participants will play 98 matches before the World Champion will be determined. On 17 July, the WCh will start off with the matches of the four Preliminary Round groups, followed by the Main Round and the placement matches, before the medals will be awarded in the capital, Seoul, on 31 July. The World Championship matches will take place in four halls in three cities (Seoul, Cheonan and Gwangju/2). Cheonan is located about 80 kilometres from Seoul, Gwangju about 240. The IHF Congress 2009 in Cairo had entrusted this event to South Korea.

The last team which completed the field of participants of the Women’s Junior WCh is Greenland, one of the representatives of Pan America. According to the draw of the four Preliminary Round groups in Seoul at the end of May, the following 24 teams will compete for the title:
Group A (Bicgoeul Gym in Gwangju): Norway, France, Germany (title holder), Tunisia, Serbia, Greenland
Group B (Yeomju Center in Gwangju): South Korea, Netherlands, Argentina, China, DR Congo, Croatia
Group C (in Seoul): Hungary, Spain, Japan, Brazil, Thailand, Australia
Group D (in Cheonan): Russia, Sweden, Angola, Montenegro, Mexico, Hong Kong

When having a look at the history of Women’s Junior World Championships, the Soviet
Union/Russia clearly leads the field, as it won eleven of the 16 WCh titles that have been awarded so far, including eight titles in a row from 1979 to 1993. After three further Russian victories in 2001, 2003 and 2005, Germany surprisingly won the World Championship 2008 in Macedonia for the first time. Other previous World Champions are Romania (1995, 1999) and Denmark (1997), whereas the Yugoslavian team was the first winner in Romania in 1977.
All the teams which are considered as favorites have qualified for the WCh in South Korea.
Alongside the host Korea, record-breaking World Champion Russia and title holder Germany, also European Champion Norway is a potential medal winner. Eleven European teams will clash three African teams, five Asian representatives, four Pan-American teams as well as the Oceania representative, Australia.
The WCh logo represents Yin and Yang whereas the mascot called Beko is a tiger that plays
handball – matching the year of the Tiger (Korea’s national animal) which is celebrated in  2010.