For the first time in history, an Asian side won the gold medal at the IHF Women’s Youth (U18) World Championship, with the Republic of Korea mounting an eight-game winning streak at North Macedonia 2022 to win the competition.
After seven games, in which they dominated their opponents, Korea secured a 31:28 win in the final against Denmark to secure their fourth medal in history and the first golden one, jumping to the third place in the all-time medal list, after Russia and Denmark.
Drawn in Group F, the new champions started the competition with a 32:28 win against Switzerland, followed by a 34:28 victory against Germany and a 34:30 win against Slovakia.
Progressing to the main round, the Asian side clinched two more wins, 33:31 against Romania and 26:24 against the Netherlands, sealing the first place in the group and setting up a crunch tie against Sweden in the quarter-finals.
A 33:27 victory against the Scandinavian side was followed by one of the most interesting matches in the competition, the semi-final against Hungary. The two sides went back and forth and Korea eventually secured a 30:29 win, qualifying for the final for the second time in history.
Led once again by amazing centre back and North Macedonia 2022 MVP Minseo Kim, who scored nine goals in the final and dished three more assists, Korea came from three goals down in the last minutes of the first half to score a superb 31:28 win against Denmark.
Kim was also the second best scorer in the competition with 58 goals, just four goals behind the top scorer, Denmark’s Julie Mathiesen Scaglione, and the second top assist provider at North Macedonia 2022.
Korea surprised once again with their consistency, having finished in the top 10 at each and every of the eight editions of the IHF Women’s Youth World Championship, with four appearances on the podium, one fifth place, one sixth place and two ninth places.
It is the second gold medal won by the Republic of Korea in the younger-age categories, after they sealed the 2014 IHF Women’s Junior (U20) World Championship title.
Bronze medal won Hungary by beating Netherlands 27:26.