AUSTRALIAN HANDBALL FEDERATION PRESS RELEASE
Turkey tour - AUSSIE CROCS - HANDBALL SUCCESS
The Australian Womens Handball team reached its first milestone in preparation for the Sydney 2000 Olympics with a resounding second place in the "Budget Cup" - International Handball Tournament in Istanbul, Turkey. This was Australias first ever victory against strong European nations where handball has longer traditions as well as scores higher in popularity and numbers of participation. Results from the tournaments are as follows:
Australia finished second behind Turkey, which is a remarkable performance considering the experience and quality of the European teams competing in this tournament together with Australias lack of international experience.
Australian goalkeeper Vera Ignjatovic (Doncaster HC Alphagirls player) was named the best keeper of the tournament and captain Lydia Kahmke was the third highest goal scorer. The Team Coach for the Turkey tournaments, Radivoj Dedic, had the following comment to the Crocs performance: "These results prove that the implementation of the Aussie spirit and skills adopted from Australian sports, such as Australian rules football and Netball are something new for the European teams to face and it will be a weapon used to beat them at their own game. Performance and team spirit shown by all players has been the talking point of the tournament from the team officials and referees to the Turkish supporters who are now following the Aussie Crocs".
AHF President Mr. George Costas and High performance manager Mr. Craig Gibson are sure that results from these tournaments combined with the IHF support (visit of the Mr. Bengt Johansson and promotion materials) will vindicate the support from the Australian Sports Commission Australian Olympic Committee, the Seven TV Network and Sport & Recreation Victoria. This will provide new opportunities for the further development of Handball at grass root level in Australia.
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