South Korea’s men’s handball team suffered a tough loss to Japan, ending their hopes of qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
The men’s team, led by head coach Hollando Freitas (58-Portugal), fell to Japan 23-34 in the semifinals of the Men’s Handball Asia Zone Qualifier at the Paris Olympic Games on Sunday (Nov. 27) in Doha, Qatar.
The Koreans were evenly matched through the first 22 minutes of the day, but gave up five unanswered points from 9-10 to end the half trailing 9-15. After conceding two straight points to start the second half, 카지노사이트넷 they were unable to mount a comeback and eventually fell to their knees. Lee Hyun-sik (31-SK) finished with a team-high seven points and Cho Tae-hoon (32-DUSAN) with five, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the loss.
With a final 4-1 record in pool play against the United Arab Emirates (29-23), Saudi Arabia (29-27), India (46-19), Qatar (25-39), and China (28-23), South Korea secured a spot in the quarterfinals with a second-place finish in Group A behind Qatar (five wins).
However, they were dealt a blow when they met Japan, a team they thought was a step below them. Japan had won all four of their games to reach the semifinals as Group B’s top seed.
The loss was particularly stinging as South Korea had a commanding 23-2-3 record against Japan in the official head-to-head series and hadn’t lost in their last four matches (3-1).
With the loss, South Korea failed to qualify for its third consecutive Olympic Games. After qualifying for the London 2012 Olympic Games (11th place), the Korean men’s handball team failed to qualify for Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2021. Next year’s trip to Paris was also canceled.
South Korea’s men’s and women’s national teams have recently been outclassed by Japan in major events. The women’s team qualified for their 11th consecutive Olympic Games with a four-game sweep at the Olympic Asian Qualifier in August, but lost to Japan 19-29 in the final of the Hangzhou Asian Games, which concluded earlier this month.
Japan, who beat South Korea, will play Bahrain in the final on Aug. 28. Bahrain defeated Qatar 30-29 in the quarterfinals. The winner of the tournament will earn a ticket to the Olympic Games, while the runner-up will advance to the final qualifying round in March 2024, which will be held for countries that did not qualify by continent.