• kyodo


Ulrik Kirkely of Denmark has been chosen to lead the Japan women’s national handball team with a contract extending through the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the Japan Handball Association announced Friday.

Kirkely, 44, succeeds Masamichi Kuriyama, whose tenure ended in March after Japan failed to qualify for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics at a tournament in France.

As an assistant coach, Kirkely helped lead the Danish women’s team to a third-place finish at the 2013 world championship.

He has also coached men’s squads in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, and has worked with Japan on a temporary basis in the past.

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