South Korean women’s handball standout Ryu Eun-hee (33, Gyorgyi, Hungary) scored the decisive goal against Japan to send her country to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
South Korea won a thrilling 25-24 victory over Japan in the final match of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games Asia Qualification on Wednesday at the Maeda Housing Donggu Sports Center in Hiroshima, Japan.
With the victory, South Korea punched its ticket to the Olympic Games with a perfect 4-0 record (first place in qualifying).
It was the 11th consecutive qualification in handball history for both the men’s and women’s teams. South Korea hasn’t missed an Olympic Games since Los Angeles 1984.
Ryu Eun-hee, the only member of the national team to play in the European league, was the team’s second-leading scorer with four goals against South Korea.
Park struggled in the first half as she was denied by the opposing goalkeeper.
But with the score at 24-23 in the second half, Park rattled the net with a mid-range shot to seal the victory. The dramatic goal came from near the 7-meter throw line with just over a minute left in the game. With a two-point lead, South Korea allowed just one point the rest of the way to secure a thrilling victory.
“Things didn’t go so well (in the first half) and I was physically tired,” said Ryu Eun-hee. “Before the game, we talked about what we wanted to do among our teammates, and we said, ‘Let’s play with our hearts hot and our heads cold,'” she reflected.
Ryu Eun-hee has always been known as a “fixer” in Korea-Japan matches. At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, where she served as captain, she blasted nine goals into Japan’s goal to lead Korea to a 27-24 victory.
The climax came in the final of the Asian Championships in Seoul on Dec. 4 last year. South Korea trailed Japan 10-16 at halftime, but came back to win 34-29 in overtime. Ryu was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) after scoring a whopping 23 of the team’s 34 points, including 19 goals on her own and four assists.
Heading into the tournament, Ryu was not at full strength. She had injured her left knee in training about two weeks earlier. On the day of the tournament, she played with a bandage on her left leg.
“I’ve recovered a lot, and I don’t feel any pain when I play,” she said of the injury, adding, “I’m grateful to the coach for trusting me.”
The Asian Games will be held next month in Hangzhou, China. In just over a month’s time, the team will have to face the countries they faced in the qualifiers.
As for what’s next, the 2014 Incheon Asian Games gold medalist said, “We have the league right away. I have to join the team training (in Hungary) first,” she said, adding, “I think I’ll have to discuss with my club (about playing at the Asian Games).”
With the win, South Korea qualified for their 11th consecutive Olympic Games, an unprecedented feat in world men’s and women’s handball history. The record has stood since 1984. “I’m both relieved and happy that I didn’t break this record,” Ryu Eun-hee said, “and I’m grateful that we can continue it.” 카지노사이트