The South Korean women’s youth (U17) handball team finished as runners-up in the final of the Asian Championship, losing to Japan by one point.

Led by Lee Doo-kyu (Ilshin Girls’ High School), South Korea lost 23-24 to Japan in the final of the 10th Asian Women’s Youth Handball Championship on Thursday in New Delhi, India. South Korea, which had not lost a title since the inaugural edition in 2005, was looking to regain the top spot for the first time in four years after the 2019 edition, but failed to do so. The previous edition in 2022 was canceled due to COVID-19. South Korea defeated China, Kazakhstan, and Nepal in each of the three qualifiers to reach the semifinals, where they thrashed Chinese Taipei 42-22. Despite falling short of the title, Korea secured a spot at the 2024 World Women’s Youth Championship, which is awarded to the top four nations in the tournament.

In a tightly contested game, Korea was unable to hold onto an early lead and went into halftime down 9-12. They rallied in the second half with back-to-back goals from Shin Chae-hyun (Hwangji Information Industry High School, Taebaek), but gave up the game-winning goal to Nakao Ai with just over a minute to play. Korea attempted several shots in the remaining time, but were unable to find the back of the net due to the Japanese defense and goalkeeping.

Despite South Korea’s runner-up finish, Shin Chae-hyun, who scored nine goals in the final, was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP). The best seven left backs and pivots were Bum Da-bin (Cho University Girls’ High School) and Yoo Hee-bin (Ilshin Girls’ High School), respectively.

Earlier in the day, China defeated Chinese Taipei 28-14 in the third and fourth place match. 토토

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