Korea snatch Junior World Championship gold from RussiaArticle
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FINAL REVIEW: For the first time a non-European team becomes Women’s under-20 world champion. A lucky Danish squad takes bronze

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Korea snatch Junior World Championship gold from Russia

To the surprise of many Korea are the new women’s junior world champions after an even more surprising one-sided final in Koprivnica, Croatia, against Women’s 19 EHF EURO champions Russia.

With a 34:27 (16:10) win the Asian champions became the first non-European world champion in this age category in the 19th edition of this competition.

Russia missed their 12th title and lost their second consecutive final in this age category after they conceded defeat against Norway in 2010.

"We would have needed six days to prepare for the style they play, but we only had two days," said the disappointed Russian head coach Vjatscheslav Kirilenko, whose team was beaten for the first time at the World Championship in Croatia following eight consecutive in wins in the matches before.

In the final once more their incredible 3:3 defence was the Korean key for success.

Additionally the nine goals of world championship top scorer Hyojin Lee (in total 64 goals), who was also awarded Most Valuable Player of the tournament, made the difference.

Russia, the the silver medalists of the Youth World Championship 2012, lost because of a weak period in the first half, when Korea forged ahead to 16:8.

Despite a great fight after the break which reduced the gap intermediately to only three goals, Russia could not turn the match in their favour.

Just hours before Denmark had snatched away the bronze medal from Germany, who had been in the lead until the final stages of the match for third place, but eventually missed too many clear chances to enter the podium.

"It was a terrible match in terms of technical mistakes, but a brilliant match in terms of thrill. When you have a medal around your neck, it does not count, how you earned it," said Danish coach Heine Eriksen, whose team had caught up with a 11:15 deficit, before winning the game 21:20.

France (against Romania for fifth place) and Hungary (against Netherlands for seventh place) had won their respective placement matches on the final day of the competition.

All-star team named

Two players each of the three medallists and in addition one Hungarian and German each were named in the All-star team of this competition:

Goalkeeper: Dinah Eckerle (GER)

Left wing: Julie Kjaer Larsen (DEN)

Pivot: Seonpil Won (KOR)

Right wing: Anna Vyakhireva (RUS)

Left back: Line Haugsted (DEN)

Centre back: Daria Dmitrieva (RUS)

Right back: Luca Szekerczes (HUN)

Top scorer: Hyojin Lee (KOR) - 64 goals

Most Valuable Player: Hyojin Lee (KOR)

Final ranking

All 14 European teams placed among the 16 best teams:

GOLD: Korea

SILVER: Russia

BRONZE: Denmark

4. Germany

5. France

6. Romania

7. Hungary

8. Netherlands

9. Norway

10. Croatia

11. Czech Republic

12. Serbia

13. Sweden

14. Slovenia

15. Brazil

16. Portugal

17. Japan

18. Uruguay

19. China

20. Argentina

21. Angola

22. Tunisia

23. Kazakhstan

24. DR Congo

The next Women’s Junior World Championship in 2016 will be hosted by Russia.

Result summary

Placement matches:

Placement match 15/16: Brazil - Portugal 33:28 (19:18)

Placement match 13/14: Sweden - Slovenia 30:20 (17:6)

Placement match 11/12: Czech Republic - Serbia 33:32 (15:17)

Placement match 9/10: Croatia - Norway 26:34 (14:15)

Placement match 7/8: Netherlands - Hungary 18:36 (11:15)

Placement match 5/6: France - Romania 31:19 (15:8)

Bronze final: Denmark - Germany 21:20 (11:14)

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

TEXT: Björn Pazen / ts