WOMEN’S HANDBALL COACH SIGNELL SOBER “OLYMPIC MEDAL? A DREAM FOR NOW”
“An Olympic medal feels like a dream right now, but I still think it’s a possibility. “That’s what Henrique Sigel, 47, the head coach of South Korea’s women’s handball team, said when asked about the country’s chances of winning a medal at the Paris 2024 Olympics after just four months in charge. South Korea went undefeated in four matches at the Asian Qualifier for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, which ended on Wednesday in Hiroshima, Japan, to earn a direct ticket to the main event, which is reserved for the top-ranked team. Especially in the last match against Japan, the Korean women’s handball team came from behind to win for the first time in a long time. The Korean women’s handball team has now qualified for the Olympic Games for the 11th consecutive time, reaffirming its status as an Asian powerhouse .But for Signell, winning the qualifier is just the first task. In a month’s time, he’ll be looking to make it three in a row at the Hangzhou Asian Games. Then, at next year’s Olympic Games in Paris, he’ll be looking for his first podium finish in 16 years. Once recognized as a global powerhouse, winning back-to-back Olympic titles in Seoul in 1988 and Barcelona in 1992, South Korea has lost much of its international competitiveness since the 2010s.South Korea’s last Olympic medal was a bronze in Beijing 2008. They had to settle for 10th place in Rio 2016 and eighth place in Tokyo 2021.Speaking to reporters at the arrivals hall of Incheon International Airport on Thursday, Signell gave a sobering assessment of the team’s current state “If we were to compete in the Olympics right now, it would be difficult to qualify. “We need to improve our physicality and mid-range shooting. We are too short and too weak physically,” he said. “We need to gain more experience against stronger teams. The Korean Unemployment League is definitely a good league, but we need to play against stronger European teams.” “The national team has improved a lot since I took over, but we still have a long way to go,” he said .Still, a medal is not out of the question, Signell emphasized. “We have a year to improve a lot,” he said. “An Olympic medal feels like a dream, but I think it’s still possible,” he said encouragingly. After their first competition with Signell, the athletes said his strength is communication. He talks a lot and always tries to take the athletes’ opinions into account .He even speaks Korean in training and meetings to reduce the psychological distance. “I also try to learn handball jargon in Korean,” says Signell. I try to use as much Korean as possible to communicate with the players. At the end of training, I always say, ‘Thank you for your hard work’ (in Korean),” he 토토사이트 laughed.