Five sides aim to fulfil Olympic dream at the Asian Women’s Handball Qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games
16 Aug. 2023
Five teams will enter the fray at the Asian Women’s Handball Qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, with only one objective, to secure a place in the 12-team line-up in the competition, as the 10 games played between them will decide which team will represent the continent at Paris 2024.
After Uzbekistan’s unexpected withdrawal, announced in July, the five participating teams will be the Republic of Korea, Japan, the People’s Republic of China, Kazakhstan and India, with the competition taking place between 17 and 23 August in Hiroshima, Japan.
The format of the competition has been tweaked, with the five sides entering a round-robin format, where every side will play against the other and try and secure the coveted first place, which will deliver the berth for Paris 2024. The second place will still have a chance to clinch a place at Paris 2024, as they will feature in the Olympic Qualification Tournaments next spring.
The reigning continental champions, the Republic of Korea, will be favoured to ensure their place for Paris 2024, but they have seen a strong challenge from Japan at the 2022 AHF Asian Women's Handball Championship. While Korea might have won their 16th continental title in that competition, they still had to master a superb comeback to take a 34:29 win in extra-time, when right back Ryu Eun Hee scored 19 goals.
Japan, buoyed by the rising interest in handball, after they hosted the Olympic Games in 2020, are on an upward trend and will be aiming to put their archrivals, the Republic of Korea, under pressure, boosted by the home crowds in Hiroshima, as the two sides will face off in the last game of the Asian Women’s Handball Qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, scheduled for Wednesday 23 August.
The People’s Republic of China, the bronze medallist at the 2022 AHF Asian Women's Handball Championship, will try to disrupt the two favourites in their bid to seal a Paris 2024 spot, while Kazakhstan and India will undoubtedly be outsiders in this competition.
Japan, Kazakhstan and the Republic of Korea are the only three Asian teams which have played in history in the women’s competition at the Olympic Games. While Kazakhstan and Japan have featured only once and twice respectively, the Republic of Korea have a ten-edition streak, with eight placements in the top 4 of the competition.
In fact, only Denmark are a more decorated team in the history of the Olympic Games, with three gold medals, as Korea have won the gold medal twice, the silver medal three times and the bronze medal once and have taken part in each edition of the competition since Los Angeles 1984.
Photo: Asian Handball Federation