Great Britain men’s handball team will face some of their toughest opponents yet when they play in next month’s Pinsent Masons’ London Handball Cup.
The event will see Great Britain battle with Tunisia, Argentina and South Korea – all of whom have qualified for this summer’s London Olympics – from April 5-7 at Crystal Palace National Sport Centre.
Head Coach Dragan Djukic said: “This tournament is one of the biggest sport events this year in the handball world and certainly the best handball tournament ever on British soil.
“The fact that all four teams have already booked their places at the Olympic Games says a lot about the quality of handball. We face the champions of the Asian, African and American continents.
“For Great Britain, this is a good opportunity for our very young team to meet some of the world’s best teams for the first time, and fight with them on home ground.”
The schedule for the tournament is - April 5: 1630: Tunisia v Korea, 1900: GB v Argentina. April 6: 1630: Korea v Argentina, 1900: GB v Tunisia. April 7: 1230: Tunisia v Argentina, 1500: GB v Korea.
Captain Bobby White, 29 and from Milton Keynes, echoed Djukic’s sentiments: “This tournament is going to be a perfect test for us as our preparations for the Olympic Games start to build momentum. Tunisia, Argentina and South Korea have all qualified for London 2012, and what better way to prepare than to play teams that are going to be there.
“We will be looking to compete well with all three teams, but we will not be worried if results don’t go our way. We will be looking to learn as much about our opponents as possible and put what we learn into action come Games time.”
And 26-year-old winger Mark Hawkins, from Horsham in Sussex, added: “It is great for handball in this country that we can host tournaments of this nature featuring the continental champions from Asia, America and Africa.
“Hopefully it is a sign of what is to come in the future and post-2012, to have regular top level international handball being played in the UK.”