IHF officials satisfied with handball World Championship in China

09:47, December 21, 2009      

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Before the 2009 women's handball World Championship concluded here on Sunday, officials from the world handball governing body expressed their satisfaction with the organization work.

In a press conference on the final day of the biyearly tournament, IHF (International Handball Federation) President Dr. Hassan Moustafa said, "We are very satisfied with the organization of this tournament. Handball is not so strong in China, but the IHF hopes that this tournament will help to develop our sport in this big country."

Moustafa specially gave his gratitude to the Chinese Handball Association, the local organizers and the volunteers for their work to let the world championship become a success. "We are also satisfied with the performances of the referees and the teams. Women's handball is developing very well", the IHF President said.

It was only the second time for a non-European country to host the women's handball worlds. The 1990 world championship took place in South Korea, which is also a country with strong handball tradition. Moustafa said IHF had to develop handball all around the world, especially in big countries like China. And that was the reason to choose China as the host, although the long flight trip and time difference might be inconvenient for European teams and TV broadcasting.

Moustafa said that the number of spectators wasn't very high at the beginning of the tournament, but as the competitions went on the number increased. "Chinese people watched handball on TV and came to the venues. Look at the semifinals in Nanjing with full stands, and the final day is sold out, too," Moustafa said. In total 105,000 spectators attended the 110 matches in Jiangsu Province in China.

According to the figures given by Moustafa, the TV signal was broadcasted to 52 countries and regions in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. 30 million Chinese people watched the live broadcasting of the match between China and Hungary.

Leon Kalin, chairman of competition for the IHF, was also satisfied, "We played in great venues under excellent conditions for all. We're very happy about the cooperation with the organizers. We're really satisfied and hope that handball will progress in China."

Source: Xinhua
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