Monday, July 26, 2010

China handball sets modest goal in 2010 Asian Games

Chinese women's handball team is expected to grab a medal at the 2010 Asian Games while their men's counterpart, a top six finish, a Chinese handball official said here on Sunday.

Peng Ning, director of handball department of the State General Administration of Sport, unveiled the goal for the Asian multi-sport meet which is slated for November 12 to 27 in China's southern city Guangzhou.

But Peng was still cautious.

"The goals were not so easy to reach since China will be faced with strong opponents from a dozen women's teams and about 25 men's squads," Peng said while he was attending the 25th China University Handball Championship and Asia University Handball Invitational Tournament in the capital city of Zhejiang province.

"Surely Chinese women did win a bronze medal in an Olympic Games before but now it is different. It will be a tough job to realized the goal or to exceed it," he said.

Chinese handball reached its glorious peak in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics where the women's team bagged a bronze but it was all downhill since then.

China was happy enough when the women's team came sixth in the Beijing Olympics in 2008. The men's team failed to qualify beyound the group stage. Even now handball remains a very small sport in the most populous country with just several hundred of players.

Peng admitted that a large fan base is needed in order for the sport to develop. 

Source: Xinhua

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