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14.08.2013, 18:14
A foundation for success
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In the past many teams have laid the groundwork for future podium finishes at Women's 17 EHF EURO events
 

A foundation for success

The players that take to the court at the Women's 17 EHF EURO in Poland (15 to 25 August 2013) are among the youngest national team representatives for any of the participating 16 nations.

The largest part of their career still lies ahead of them - including the potential to turn it into a very successful one.

By looking at how different age groups developed over the years, it becomes evident that consistent work with these younger age category (YAC) teams pays off and can result in consecutive podium finishes at following events.

For example, from 2005 to 2008 Denmark was an outstanding team in the YAC events.

The players born in 1988 and 1989 won the 2005 Women's 17 EHF EURO as well as the Youth World Championship in 2006 and the Women's 19 EHF EURO in 2007, before finishing 'only' second at the Junior World Championship in 2008.

From 2007 onwards the Russian women born in 1990 and 1991 became a dominating force.

After having won the European Olympic Youth Festival (EYOF) in 2007, they finished just off the podium in fourth at the 2007 Women's 17 EHF EURO.

However, they recovered quickly, winning the 2008 Women's Youth World Championships, claiming bronze at the 2009 Women's 19 EHF EURO and silver at the 2010 Women's Junior World Championship.

Dominating Scandinavian teams with some Russian influence

The Norwegian players from the same age group came second at the 2007 EYOF and then bounced back from a 9th rank finish at the 2007 Women's 17 EHF EURO and their miss of the 2008 Youth World Championships to win both the 2009 Women's 19 EHF EURO and the 2010 Junior World Championship.

In the 1992/93-generation it was once again Denmark that ranked among the most successful women's younger age category teams.

They won the 2009 Women's 17 EHF EURO, the 2010 Youth Olympic Games and the 2011 Women's 19 EHF EURO before their performance dropped slightly as they finished 9th at the 2012 Junior World Championship.

In the age group that has just finished playing the Women's 19 EHF EURO in Denmark (for players born in 1994 and 1995), it is again the three aforementioned nations - Denmark, Russia and Norway - that seem to build an almost unbeatable phalanx.

At the 2011 Women's 17 EHF EURO Russia finished ahead of Denmark and Norway. One year later at the Youth World Championship Denmark placed first ahead of Russia and Norway.

It was only at the most recent 2013 Women's 19 EHF EURO that this dominance was slightly intercepted as Hungary came second.

However, the powerful trio still finished first (Russia), third (Denmark) and fourth (Norway).

"What also becomes evident by analysing the results, that it is often the established teams from the senior competitions which are also successful in the younger age category events," said Peter Sichelschmidt, EHF Senior Manager National Teams Competitions.

"Or to put it the other way round: It seems to pay off for federations for the future to have a good young player's training and development programme." 

Women's 17 EHF EURO throws off on 15 August

However, it remains to be seen which team will be the dominating one in the 1996/97 age group as 16 nations vie for the title at the Women's 17 EHF EURO which throws off on Thursday (15 August).

The 2013 European Youth Olympic Festival might be a small indicator. At the tournament in June in Utrecht (Netherlands) Denmark finished ahead of Russia and Germany in the women's competition.

Howvever as you say in sport: Anything is possible and may the best team win.


TEXT: EHF / ts
 
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