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Date: 8/31/2017

The 2017 Busan International Friendly Tournament was held from August 19 to 23 in Busan, South Korea – and it was a truly international event with teams from all over the world competing. The women’s national squads from Australia, the USA and Taiwan took part, along with club teams such as Hungarian ÉRD HC, Danish Aalborg and hosts Busan Bisco.

ÉRD claimed the trophy at the conclusion of the round-robin competition, with Busan Bisco coming in second and Aalborg placing third – but the tournament was valuable for much more than the results on court.

“The Busan International Women's Friendly Tournament has been an excellent experience for our women's team. The team has grown both on and off the court,” said Australia coach Adrian van Bussel. “Although the results were not in our favour, the girls have improved out of sight and always managed to achieve the goals that we set together before our matches.”

“Our goal was to learn from a different culture, both from a handball and a human perspective,” said ÉRD coach Szabo Edina. “The team building aspect of this trip was very important for us, as we have big objectives this year in the EHF Cup, and the discovery of this new style was key to broaden our horizons and strengthen our team from an international standpoint.

“Moreover, we believe such an event was of great importance to help popularise women’s handball throughout the world, notably in countries with immense potential such as the USA, where handball is currently in its developmental phase. For this reason, we collaborated with Mr Kang [of the local organising committee] to organise a conference where we discussed the situation, issues and opportunities of women’s handball in the various regions present. The initiative was very successful.

“We hope we can continue in such a cooperative direction in the future to strengthen the position of this sport in the worldwide ecosystem,” concluded Edina.

We are so grateful to the Korean Handball Federation and their invitation to the Australian women's team to participate in this tournament,” added van Bussel. “The girls have had a taste of high-level handball and now know how hard they have to work at home.”

Photo: ÉRD HC