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| Event type

Handball, Women

Date21 – 29 September 1988
StatusOlympic
LocationSu-won Sil-nae Che-yuk-gwan, Suwon
Participants111 from 8 countries
FormatRound-robin pools advance teams to classification matches.

The women’s field now consisted of eight teams for the first time. This still did not guarantee a very broad field of top nations, as three spots were reserved for continental champions (China, Ivory Coast and the US), and one for the host nation (South Korea). The remaining four places were earned at the 1986 World Championships (Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Norway) and the 1987 B World Championships (Yugoslavia).

The South Koreans had been in preparation for the tournament for years, training under isolated, Spartan conditions. This had not yet resulted in fame at the 1986 Worlds (12th), but paid off at the Olympics. They started off with a win against Czechoslovakia, but subsequently lost to Yugoslavia. Their win against the US secured Korea’s spot in the final pool, but they would carry their lost match into the final pool. In the other group, Norway and the USSR easily held off China and Ivory Coast, and drew 19-19 to both qualify for the next round.

In that tense final group, the Soviets first defeated Yugoslavia, while Korea beat Norway. This meant three teams were still in a position to win the gold, and even Norway could still claim the silver medal. The Norwegian women pulled away from Yugoslavia 20-15, meaning they had secured at least a bronze. The unofficial final match between South Korea and the USSR was sold out, filled with enthusiastic Korean supporters. The agile Koreans pulled up to a 16-12 lead, but saw it disappear as the Soviets scored five times in a row to take the lead, 17-16. In a last-ditch effort, the hosts managed to come back in to the game, winning it 21-19 in front of an ecstatic crowd. The Soviet women fell back to third, as the Norwegian team claimed its first Olympic medal in the sport.

PosNrTeamNOCWTLPtsGoals
1Republic of KoreaKOR4018120–106Gold
2NorwayNOR3117115–91Silver
3Soviet UnionURS3117112–85Bronze
4YugoslaviaYUG203488–96
5CzechoslovakiaTCH4018141–102
6People's Republic of ChinaCHN2034128–106
7United StatesUSA1042104–123
8Côte d'IvoireCIV005065–164

Preliminary Round (21 – 25 September 1988)

Group A (21 – 25 September 1988)

Round-robin pools.

PosNOCWTLPtsGoals
1KOR201476–67
2YUG201458–58
3TCH201481–69
4USA003055–76

Match #121 Sep 14:00KOR 33 – 27TCH
Match #221 Sep 18:00YUG 19 – 18USA
Match #323 Sep 14:00TCH 33 – 19USA
Match #423 Sep 18:00YUG 22 – 19KOR
Match #525 Sep 14:00KOR 24 – 18USA
Match #625 Sep 18:00TCH 21 – 17YUG

Group B (21 – 25 September 1988)

Round-robin pools.

PosNOCWTLPtsGoals
1URS210575–49
2NOR210575–53
3CHN102276–58
4CIV003037–103

Match #121 Sep 15:30URS 24 – 19CHN
Match #221 Sep 19:30NOR 34 – 14CIV
Match #323 Sep 15:30URS 32 – 11CIV
Match #423 Sep 19:30NOR 22 – 20CHN
Match #525 Sep 15:30CHN 37 – 12CIV
Match #625 Sep 19:30NOR 19 – 19URS

Classification Round 5-8 (27 – 29 September 1988)

Classification matches.

PosNOCWTLPtsGoals
1TCH300693–52
2CHN201489–60
3USA102268–80
4CIV003040–98

Match #127 Sep 14:00CHN 31 – 22USA
Match #227 Sep 15:30TCH 34 – 12CIV
Match #329 Sep 14:00USA 27 – 16CIV
Match #429 Sep 15:30TCH 26 – 21CHN

Final Round (27 – 29 September 1988)

Medal round.

PosNOCWTLPtsGoals
1KOR201463–61
2NOR111359–57
3URS111356–55
4YUG102252–57

Match #127 Sep 18:00URS 18 – 15YUG
Match #227 Sep 19:30KOR 23 – 20NOR
Match #329 Sep 18:00NOR 20 – 15YUG
Match #429 Sep 19:30KOR 21 – 19URS

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