#TheTeamFiles: Hungary (IKF WKC 2019)

Young core set to drive Hungary to new heights

Hungary is an interesting prospect at the IKF World Korfball Championship 2019, and should challenge most other teams, even though they are in a tough pool. A young core of the squad has come through the age groups together. Several players who have since graduated to the senior team placed sixth at the IKF U21 World Korfball Championship 2018, following an excellent performance three years earlier when they played for a medal at the U19 Korfball World Cup 2015.

Their challenge is to confirm that potential and go at least one place better than Hungary’s current ninth placing in the IKF rankings. That would give them a top eight finish and therefore ensure qualification for the World Games 2021, an honour that Hungary has never previously achieved.

Alexandra Falcsik, known to her team mates and other friends as Lexi, says their main goal is to make everyone at home proud.

“Hungarian korfball has made strong progress in recent years. This is our chance to step up another level and show what we are capable of. We are young and enthusiastic. While we know how to have fun together, the team comes first for all of us.

“Even though we qualified by finishing in eighth place at the IKF European Korfball Championship last year, because more than half of Hungary’s national squad players are students, funding ourselves to go to South Africa was a genuine challenge and many of us struggled to make that financial commitment,” she says.

When the IKF WKC was previously held outside Europe, in 2011, budgetary constraints prevented Hungary’s participation. This time around, the team was determined to overcome that barrier.

Team Hungary

Team Hungary

“Like several other teams that fund themselves to play international korfball, we had to make a big effort to be on the plane. Fortunately members of the team and the Hungarian Korfball Federation were able to gather enough generous support, both nationally and internationally, to confirm our entry. Putting in that hard work with the budget, and knowing that we have good support behind us, has given us even greater determination to do well at the tournament,” she says.

Training with the squad is another challenge for Lexi, who has been a student of journalism at the University of Kent in England since 2017, where she plays for local club Tornadoes, and was part of the team that recently finished third in England’s national league. She returned to Budapest at Easter and for the summer to train with the Hungarian team.

“We trained with the beach korfball team to improve our fitness. Although playing korfball for two hours in the sand is absolutely exhausting, we hope it made us stronger. Preparing with the U21s is also a good challenge, and gives us the opportunity to play against a wider range of people,” she says.

Hungary has taken advantage of korfball’s capacity for international friendship and cross-border co-operation, running two joint training camps with the Czech Republic in the lead up to Durban.

Balázs Berenyi is one Hungarian player who opponents will need to take note of in Durban. At the IKF EKC 2018 he was top scorer for the tournament, with 30 goals. In keeping with the sport’s strong family theme, Hungary’s squad also includes another Berenyi brother, Tamás, as well as three Bellusz brothers: Kristóf, Attila and Viktor. A fourth member of the Bellusz family is also coming through the ranks, sister Tamara, who was part of Hungary’s squad at the recent U19 World Korfball Cup and is the youngest member of the squad travelling to Durban.

Lexi says Hungary is looking forward to the pool games, where they will meet Suriname, Macau and China.

“We played China twice last year at the IKF U21 WKC. After winning the pool game, we lost our play off against them by golden goal, so that is a good rivalry and one that we aim to keep going in Durban,” she says.

#TeamHUN IKF WKC 2019

3: Zsófia Gáspár
4: Rozália Berki
7: Tamara Csilla Bellusz
10: Viktor Zsolt Bellusz
11: Zsolt Ferenc Majer
13: Fanni Júlia Pauly
14: Attila István Bellusz
15: Tamás Áron Berényi
17: Alexandra Falcsik
23: Sára Zsuzsanna Tasnádi
24: Enikő Beöthy
33: Kristóf Tamás Bellusz
34: György Dőrfi
35: Balázs Berényi

Coach: Barnabás Hack
Manager: Attila Erdei
Official: Jan Jouke Flokstra

#TeamHUN on social media:


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#TheTeamFiles: Hong Kong China (IKF WKC 2019)

Speed, ambition and team commitment Hong Kong’s ingredients for success

Hong Kong arrives at the IKF Korfball World Championship 2019 sitting at number 11 in the current IKF ranking. Participation in the two previous WKC tournaments resulted in Hong Kong finishing in fourteenth place in 2011 and twelfth in 2015.

Kuen Ham played in both those tournaments, and is back as part for the independent territory of Hong Kong’s third taste of a WKC. He says the strength of their korfball is not centred on any one individual.

“We are fast, athletic and ambitious. Our strength is in our team work more than individual players. We are lucky to all live close to each other, so the squad trains together every week, and we have stepped up to prepare with more focus on Durban since January.

“We have trained hard and believe we have made a big improvement in the way we play. We can hope to be able to show that to the world in Durban, and catch the attention of the tournament,” he says.

Most of the players come from the New Territories and Kowloon districts in Hong Kong. They learned korfball when they were studying at secondary school, and have been playing together for over eight years.

Local growth of the profile of korfball has lifted the sport, and since 2017 the Hong Kong Korfball Association has received financial support from the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. This money has been used for several designated categories, including personnel, office expenses squad training, local competitions, training courses, school promotion and staff training.

Hong Kong’s government funding also contributes towards the association’s national squads programme. Ham says financial support to participate in international korfball has helped their preparation for the WKC.

Team Hong Kong China

Team Hong Kong China

“With the funding the association has received in the last two years, although the players still have to pay a portion, it is easier than it was in the past. However, we still have to figure out one problem: the players do not always have enough annual leave from their employers.

“Most of them have to save up all their leave to be able to play for Hong Kong and attend the different tournaments throughout the year. Sometimes we need to take leave with no pay. In the past, some of the players even had to quit their jobs because their employers wouldn’t give them enough time off work to travel and play.

“That attitude and commitment from our team mates gives us greater strength as a squad. We love our home, Hong Kong, very much, and it a great privilege to be able to represent our families, friends and community in international korfball,” he says.

Hong Kong is in a pool that also includes Belgium, England and Slovakia. Coach Warman Cheng is looking forward to the challenge of taking on the three European nations.

“While we are used to international korfball in our own region, and regularly play against Asian opponents, I think our first match against England should be a good indicator of our preparation for the WKC. We will see where we stand against an opponent that currently sits five places ahead of us in the IKF rankings and that we do not play regularly. Then we can make the next step for the coming matches, which of course, will also test us,” he says.

Fast, dynamic players with plenty of heart, a strong commitment to each other, and vibrant team spirit from having played together for several years will be the strength of Hong Kong in Durban this August, and will determine how well they pass the test.

#TeamHKG IKF WKC 2019

4: Wing Yan Tsang
5: Hiu Kwan Pang
6: Tim Tim Yau
8: Pui Man Amy Chow
9: Kwok Kuen Ham
13: Hei Laam Helen Fong
14: Tung Pak So
19: Ching Yu Chan
21: Tsz Fung Luk
26: Ching Wun Wong
31: Sung Pan Tse
50: Kai Yiu Fong
53: Tsz Chung Lee
77: Ching Yee Kwok
81: Tsz Kit Wong
88: Ka Chun Ma

Coach: Wai Ming Cheng (Warman)
Assistant Coach: Eugenio Ivan Aquino
Manager: Pok Ho Chong
Sports Trainer: Hei Man Wong (Crystal)

#TeamHKG on social media:


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#TheTeamFiles: Germany (IKF WKC 2019)

Outstanding EKC sets new expectations for Germany

Beating one of korfball’s international superpowers is almost unheard of. In Europe, the only time anyone outside the top two had beaten The Netherlands or Belgium was in a semi-final at the IKF European Korfball Championship 2002 in Catalonia, when the Czech Republic overcame Belgium. Sixteen years later Germany became the first European team to repeat that feat, winning 20-18 in their pool game against The Diamonds at the IKF EKC 2018.

Anna Orth was part of Germany’s history-making team that day, and will be back, along with most of her team-mates, for the IKF World Korfball Championship 2019 in Durban. She says it is still difficult to believe what they achieved.

“Before that game, no one seriously thought we would win. We didn’t even really believe it ourselves, which probably helped because we didn’t have that huge pressure from the first minute. We just played our game and tried not to be distracted by our opponents, the spectators or anything else,” she says.

Belgium held the lead until the 29th minute, though were never ahead by more than three.

“In the game, we sensed there was actually a good chance to win, but we knew we had to fight hard until the last moment. We just kept playing our game and trusting that everyone was doing their very best,” says Anna.

Germany only established the decisive two-goal lead with less than five seconds left, by which point their ever-enthusiastic supporters were chanting and cheering.

Team Germany

Team Germany

“When the game was over we realised we had actually won against Belgium. It was an amazing feeling. We couldn’t really believe it and at the same time we were so proud. Proud of what we had achieved, and of the effort everybody had put in. It definitely took a while to process all the emotions, and it was incredible to receive so much positive feedback afterwards.

“No one who was there will forget those feelings,” she says.

Going on to win the silver medal gave Germany new belief, though also adds a new kind of pressure.

“We are starting from a special position this year. Expectations are high, not only from the outside, but also from ourselves. That also pushes our motivation to play a great tournament again. We are determined to show that what we have reached last year was not by chance, but because we worked hard for it. It puts us in a different position than we are used to. Now we have to live up to high expectations,” she says.

Anna says the German team is held together by ambition, team spirit and fun.

“Most of us started playing korfball at primary school age, and we are now either university students or working full time. We mainly come from two different regions in Germany, around Dortmund and Cologne, which are about an hour apart by car. We all play for Germany’s top four clubs: SG Pegasus, TuS Schildgen, Schweriner KC and Adler Rauxel. In other German regions, korfball is not well known. We all have those conversations with people from other German cities explaining what korfball is and what makes it so special.

“We all spend a lot of time and effort on korfball, not only as players but also as coaches for example. Korfball is the main focus for all of us, next to our jobs and studies,” she says.

Germany’s captain at recent tournaments Sven Müller has retired, with Dominic Düring taking over the armband. Jan Robert Heming and Thomas Freund are stepping up from the U21 team and Pascal Demuth will also make his first national team appearance, as will Lea Witthaus. Anna says these new players add additional options to the team, set alongside the structure and experience of more established German stars like Anna Schulte, Jana Kierdorf and Timon Orth.

They are looking forward to defending their fifth place in the IKF rankings, particularly against Portugal, who they meet in a pool game on the third day, says Anna.

“Playing Portugal is always a great challenge, especially after the last tournament where we played each other twice and Germany won both. Portugal won’t make it easy, though since we won the IKF EKC silver medal, neither will anyone else, and we are very aware of that.

“We definitely want to end up in first in our pool, then see, from game to game, what will be the next step.”

#TeamGER IKF WKC 2019

3: Johanna Gnutt
4: Jana Kierdorf
5: Anna Schulte
6: Anna Orth
8: Lea Sander
12: Dominic Duering
13: Pascal Demuth
15: Timon Orth
16: Steffen Heppekausen
17: Johanna Peuters
18: Johanna Treffts
20: David Liepold
22: Jan Robert Heming
23: Thomas Freund
25: Lea Witthaus

Coach: Wilco Van Den Bos
Manager: Jochen Schittkowski
Physios: Tobias Kehlenbach, Dominik Werthmann

#TeamGER on social media:


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#TheTeamFiles: Chinese Taipei (IKF WKC 2019)

World second ranked Chinese Taipei seeks to go one step higher

Over the past decade Chinese Taipei has become firmly established in international korfball’s top three, with podium finishes at each IKF World Korfball Championship and each World Games since 2009. They now hold the second place in the IKF rankings.

Through most of that era Chun Hsien Wu, known throughout the korfball world as Ricky, has been a key team member. He has also been one of the highest profile ‘imports’ to the Korfball League in The Netherlands, where he earned the nickname ‘The Asian Sensation.’ Ricky Wu will captain Chinese Taipei at the IKF WKC 2019 in South Africa. He knows his team has a huge battle to equal the silver medal they won at the World Games 2017. However he says they have an even greater ambition in their sights.

“We want to make the final. Our main target is to become the world champion,” he says.

Chinese Taipei has been in training since the Korfball Challenge in Rotterdam at the end of last year. Ricky is pleased with the way they have prepared.

“For six months we have worked solidly. We train together four times a week. We are able to take it step by step, not to go in a hurry. We have been careful to do everything in the right way. It has gone well, and it seems we are now almost in the best moment with this team,” he says.

In common with several other teams at the IKF WKC 2019, Chinese Taipei predominantly comprises a mix of university students and physical education teachers. Originally drawn from the Chinese Taipei Korfball Association (CTKA) schools programme, established across the country, all the national squad players now live in three cities, or attend two universities, all in or near Taipei, making it relatively easy for them to train together regularly.

“For those of us who work, when you then have to go to train, it can be a challenge to keep your energy levels up, though it is not a big problem, particularly now we are into the summer vacation.

“If you are a teacher and are selected to play for the national team, the government will give you special leave, so it is not such a big sacrifice to play, and it helps us to keep focused on training,” says Ricky.

Team Chinese Taipei

Team Chinese Taipei

Through their preparation this year, Chinese Taipei have also competed in two recent international tournaments: the ZZU Cup, in Zhengzhou, China in early June, where they lost in the final to The Netherlands, and a subsequent event, also in China, which included the two Asian countries’ senior and U21 teams as well as The Netherlands U21. Chinese Taipei achieved a welcome victory over the Dutch team, as well as playing some tough battles against their local rival, China.

Ricky and his team mates are pleased to have the growing competition from their neighbour.

“In the past, world korfball has been unbalanced between Asia and Europe. In the top eight, Chinese Taipei was usually the only Asian team to really challenge Europe. Now China is ready to join that group. We know that the gap is becoming smaller. China plays with a lot of energy. They have a realistic opportunity to make the semi-finals,” he says.

Suriname could also post a big challenge for Chinese Taipei. They met at the Korfball Challenge in December, when the Asian champion only just defeated the Pan American champion. Ricky knows, and respects, many of Suriname’s players from his time in the Korfball League.

“They play in the Dutch style. Playing Suriname is like playing a second Dutch team,” he says.

And even though they are ambitious for a first ever place in the IKF WKC final, then to progress to the highest level of the podium, Ricky and his team mates know they are likely to have to overcome Belgium if they are to achieve those high aspirations.

“Although we beat them at the World Games, and then they had their worst ever finish at last year’s EKC, we know Belgium is climbing again. When we last played them, in the Korfball Challenge, they had changed the way they play, with more hustle and more fight, and they are much stronger this year. We always have to be careful when we play against them,” he says.

If the two rivals do meet in Durban, it is likely to be one of the most important, and most eagerly awaited, matches of the tournament.

#TeamTPE IKF WKC 2019

1: Ya-Wen Lin
2: Shu-Chi Chang
3: Chou-Ying Li
4: Shu-Ping Chu
5: Cin Chen
6: Shen-Chih Chen
7: Szu-Yu Lin
8: Ya-Hui Cho
11: Chun-Hsien Wu
13: Han-Sheng Chiu
14: Li-Chiang Cheng
15: Chun-Ta Chen
16: Wei-Jhe Tai
17: Chen-Yu Kao
18: Tzu-Shun Huang
19: Tzu-Yao Huang

Coach: Fang-Yi Hsieh
Manager: Chih-Hung Huang
Officials: Chun-Cheng Feng, Bo-Yu Sung, Wei-Chiang Huang

#TeamTPE on social media:


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#TheTeamFiles: China (IKF WKC 2019)

China set to capitalise on outstanding development programme

China goes to South Africa sitting at number four in the IKF world rankings. Having only joined the top level of korfball 12 years ago, playing in the WKCs of 2007, 2011 and 2015, their current position compares favourably to several longer established korfball nations, and is a tribute to the hard work and great focus that has gone into their development. Finishing in fifth place at the 2017 World Games, and second at the 2018 IKF Asia Oceania Korfball Championships, is a mark of their progress.

Zhao Jing, known in international korfball as Jammy, is the captain of the Chinese team. A graduate of Zhengzhou University, the home of korfball in China, Jammy started playing the sport in 2011 and now works at the International Korfball Development Research Center of Zhengzhou University, so is China’s first, and so far only, professional korfball athlete.

“We aim to maintain our top five world ranking, and to qualify for the 2021 World Games. We have been assisted by Ben Crum coming to China to help us train. We also hosted the second Eurasian Korfball Competition in Zhengzhou in June,” she says.

China finished third in that tournament, which was also attended by the Netherlands, Chinese Taipei, New Zealand, Hong Kong, India and Thailand. Further pre-WKC preparation for China included a joint week of training with Chinese Taipei and the Dutch U21 team.

Despite the rising success of China in world korfball, and the adoption of the sport in the education system, where students at more than 200 schools in China study korfball in physical education, and almost 60 schools have their own korfball team, Jammy says there is no complacency in the Chinese korfball community.

Team China

Team China

“Even though korfball is becoming established in our universities, when players finish learning and start working, their korfball ends. We are therefore taking korfball into middle and primary schools, so that children can understand and learn our sport as young as possible. Although some schools have started with korfball, because coaches don’t know much about training methods, we still have a long way to go,” she says.

Zhengzhou University and the International Korfball Development Research Center, under the guidance of Professor Ma Xiangcheng, is leading the way, both in China and beyond. Jammy says the center has developed rapidly in the last two years.

“Although Zhengzhou University’s involvement with korfball started in 2005, the center was not set up until April 2017. We now cover many specialisations, including teaching korfball, scientific research into korfball, competition, training high-level personnel to develop korfball and using korfball to assist social services in China. Our objectives are to promote korfball in China, and become an active home for korfball in Asia.

“We have three major focuses of work: training and competition, international communication, and academic research. At present, most of the national squad players are from Zhengzhou University, so this is the location for national team training. Before any international match, players of every age group come here for selection and preparation. Most of the schools in China that want to teach or play korfball send teachers here to study, at least twice a year for coaches and referees.

“We have more than 10 graduate athletes majoring in korfball at the center. Besides training, they carry out academic research, mainly relating to training. We also recently published China’s first korfball textbook, edited by Professor Ma,” she says.

As China’s first korfball professional, Jammy’s duties include assisting Professor Ma in the promotion of korfball, as well as organising competitions and training. She is assistant coach of Zhengzhou University, training the team each afternoon and evening. Earlier this year Jammy spent three months in the Netherlands to increase her korfball knowledge, including serving as assistant coach of the Chinese U19 team and passing the IKF Level 3 coaching course.

Zhengzhou University has provided several of the players in China’s team, while others are graduates of Southwest University and Tianjin University of Science and Technology.

“Those who have graduated are now working in primary schools, junior high schools or universities as sports teachers, or doing sports-related work. That kind of work makes it easier for us to continue participating in korfball.

“Several of our other players are Zhengzhou graduate and undergraduate students, while Zhe Heng Tang, called Tom, is also a graduate student at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, where he participates in korfball with the university club, alongside his study,” says Jammy.

#TeamCHN IKF WKC 2019

2: Jing Zhao
3: Qing Wang
4: Jingyi Yin
5: Xin Li
6: Yuran Fu
7: Xiaoxi Chen
11: Dongjie Zhang
14: Xi Wang
15: Jingyuan Sun
16: Yongbin Yang
17: Fei Xiao
19: Litian Cao
20: Qi Wang
26: Siying Wang
29: Shengsi Li
34: Shuaitan Hu

Coach: Xiangcheng Ma
Manager: Jinhong Huang
Officials: Jun Shangguan, Ben Crum, Liming Liu

#TeamCHN on social media:


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IKF WKC 2019: List of referees and jury officers

The IKF is happy to announce the list of referees and jury officers appointed for the upcoming IKF World Korfball Championship 2019 that will be held from 1 to 10 August in Durban, South Africa.


Breugelmans, Marc (BEL)
Dijkstra, Gert (NED)
Faria, Joana (POR)
Kuo-Chin Han, Esther (TPE)
van Heerden, Suzette (RSA)
Kumkevera, Roseline (ZIM)
Van der Linde, Theo (NED)
Piris, Nina (CAT)
R. de O. Silva, Alexandre (BRA)
Sjardijn, Jan (NED)
Stevenson, Sam (SCO)




The match schedule and more information about this tournament can be found on the following link:

All #WKC2019 matches will be live-streamed through IKF YouTube channel and on IKF’s data website:

For more information about the event, follow and IKF Social Media profiles:
– On Facebook:
– On Instagram: @korfball_org
– On Twitter: @korfball

IKF WKC 2019: Match schedule published

The match schedule for the upcoming IKF World Korfball Championship 2019 has been published. You can find it on the following link:

The Tournament Rules have also been sent to all participant countries. This IKF World Korfball Championship (WKC) 2019 will be held from 1-10 August in Durban (South Africa). The pool draw was webcasted live last April 20th.

The draw split the 20 teams participating in the event into five first-round pools (*) of four teams each.


The top three teams from each pool and the highest ranked fourth-placed team, qualify for the Round of 16 (*) and compete for the Championship title. The remaining four countries will play each other in a round-robin format to decide their position in the final ranking (position 17-20).

round 2

All WKC matches will be live-streamed through IKF YouTube channel. For more information about the event, follow and IKF Social Media profiles:
– On Facebook:
– On Instagram: @korfball_org
– On Twitter: @korfball

Draw confirms pool composition for IKF World Korfball Championship 2019

Following the draw on Saturday 20 April, the pool composition of the IKF World Korfball Championship (WKC) 2019 held from 1-10 August in Durban (South Africa) has been confirmed. The draw was webcasted live across multiple media platforms.

The draw of the IKF WKC 2019 has split the 20 teams participating in the event into five first-round pools (*) of four teams each. The five pools for the IKF World Korfball Championship 2019 are:


The top three teams from each pool and the highest ranked fourth-placed team, qualify for the Round of 16 (*) and compete for the Championship title. The remaining four countries will play each other in a round-robin format to decide their position in the final ranking (position 17-20).

round 2

All WKC matches will be live-streamed through IKF YouTube channel. For more information about the event, go to or keep an eye on the IKF Social Media channels:
Instagram: @korfball_org
Twitter: @korfball

IKF World Korfball Championship 2019 – Participants known

In just five and a half months the IKF World Korfball Championship (WKC) 2019 in Durban South Africa, held from 1 to 10 August, will start. At this point, all the participants are known.

The IKF WKC 2019 will contain the highest number of participants in the history of korfball. The number of 16 countries during the IKF WKC 2015 in Belgium has grown to 20 participating countries at this year’s edition. The participating countries all have qualified themselves during their Continental Championships in 2018.

Of the initial 20 countries that qualified for the IKF WKC 2019 the Dominican Republic and Zimbabwe unfortunately had to withdraw. While also the first reserve of the Americas (Brazil) was not able to step in, the first reserves of Europe (Slovakia) and Asia (Macau China) have been approached as replacements. Both countries happily accepted the invitation.

The participating countries are:

Countries IKF World Ranking*
Australia (OC) 10
Belgium (EU) 3
Catalonia (EU) 12
China (AS) 4
Chinese Taipei (AS) 2
Czech Republic (EU) 7
England (EU) 6
Germany (EU) 5
Hong Kong China (AS) 11
Hungary (EU) 9
Ireland (EU) 20
Japan (AS) 24
Macau China (AS) 30
Netherlands (EU) 1
New Zealand (OC) 16
Poland (EU) 13
Portugal (EU) 8
Slovakia (EU) 17
South Africa (AF) 15
Surinam (AM) 21

The 20 countries will be divided over five pools by a public draw during the IKF U19 WKC, Saturday 20 April. In the coming weeks the pool draw procedure, pot composition and the tournament set-up will be announced. So, keep a close look at the IKF Website and Social Media Channels.

*Based on the IKF World Ranking of December 31st 2018


Launch event logo and communication campaign IKF World Korfball Championship 2019

With just over 6 months to go before the start of the IKF World Korfball Championship (WKC) 2019 in Durban South Africa, held from 1-10 August, the South African Korfball Federation has launched the WKC event logo.

The launch of the event logo initiates the start of the communication campaign towards the IKF WKC 2019. So from now on it is recommended to carefully watch the IKF Social Media Channels.

The first communication that can be expected from the side of the IKF is the official confirmation of the 20 participating countries in South Africa, in the beginning of February. Before the end of the same month also the announcement of the tournament set-up will be shared, including the pool draw procedure and pot composition.

The WKC pool draw itself shall be done publicly and will be conducted during the IKF Under 19 World Korfball Championship from 19-21 April in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. The exact date and time of the draw will be communicated at a later stage.