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Women’s Handball Team Qualifies for Paris Olympics with Three Wins

Hungary Today 2024.04.15.

The Hungarian women’s handball team finished their Olympic qualification tournament with a 37-28 win over Japan on Sunday, leaving Debrecen (eastern Hungary) with a quota in their pocket. It has been twenty years since both teams were represented at the same time at the Olympic Games, reports Magyar Nemzet.

Sunday night’s clash between Hungary and Japan was preceded by a match between Great Britain and Sweden, ending as expected, with a dominant 52-8 victory for the Nordic side.

However, one Olympic quota was still up for grabs.

The Japanese had one win and the Hungarians two, and it was clear that a four-goal defeat would have been enough to keep Hungary in the running for the quota.

Photo via MTI/Czeglédi Zsolt

In the 58th second, Hungary took the lead through Katrin Klujber’s goal. The scores were soon reversed, with Japan leading 2-1 after three and a half minutes. In the 6th minute Hungary had the lead again (3-2), which they held until the ninth minute thanks to Blanka Böde-Bíró, who defended twice, but then Japan equalized. After that, Hungary was in the lead again through Viktória Győri-Lukács’ s goal (5-3).

In the first part of the match, both teams made several mistakes in attack, and Japan’s coach, Kenta Kishimoto, called for the first time-out in the 14th minute when Hungary was leading 7-4. He did so again less than a minute and a half later, but the Hungarian team scored two more goals.

The fans were cheering non-stop throughout the game.

The second half started with a quick change of goals. In the continuation, Klujber and Győri-Lukács were in their element, when in the 41st minute, with a 23-13 Hungarian lead, the hosts could count a ten-goal difference for the first time.

The Hungarian team was unstoppable and won by a bigger difference than expected, 37-28, and secured their place in this year’s Olympics.

The most successful Hungarian in the game against Japan was Katrin Klujber of Ferencváros, who scored 11 goals.

According to head coach Vladimir Golovin, the team played more freely, which was partly the reason why they beat Japan. “I am very proud of the girls” – these were his first words at the press conference after the Hungarian success.

The women’s national team beat Great Britain, Sweden, and Japan in the Debrecen tournament, winning three out of three matches and qualifying for the Olympic Games with a flawless performance, alongside the men’s team.

The men’s and women’s teams last competed together at the 2004 Athens Olympics.


In 2004, neither the men’s nor the women’s team managed to achieve a podium finish. The women’s team, silver medalists at the World Championships, were expected to perform exceptionally, but they lost their two most important matches and failed to qualify for the last four. The women’s handball team finished fifth. In addition, despite a memorable performance, the men’s team finished in fourth place.

Following the conclusion of the IHF Women’s Olympic Qualification Tournaments in Debrecen, Torrevieja, and Neu-Ulm, six teams have earned their tickets to the Paris Olympics, with the 12-team line-up for the competition now complete. The group stage draw will take place on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in Paris.

Women’s handball tournament draw pots:
Pot 1 – Norway / Hungary
Pot 2 – Netherlands / Germany
Pot 3 – Slovenia / Spain
Pot 4 – Sweden / France
Pot 5 – Denmark / Brazil
Pot 6 – Angola / Republic of Korea

Men’s handball tournament draw pots:
Pot 1 – Denmark / Spain
Pot 2 – Croatia / Norway
Pot 3 – Hungary / Germany
Pot 4 – Slovenia / France
Pot 5 – Sweden / Egypt
Pot 6 – Argentina / Japan

Men’s Handball Team Qualifies for Paris Olympics
Men’s Handball Team Qualifies for Paris Olympics

The Hungarian and Portuguese national teams faced each other for the last Olympic quota in Tatabánya.Continue reading

Via Magyar Nemzet, MTI; Featured image via Facebook/Magyar kézilabda-válogatott

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