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11.06.2015, 14:07
Six teams embark on Women’s EHF EURO 2016 journey
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PREVIEW: The qualification for the Women’s EHF EURO 2016 starts on Friday with three-nation tournaments being played in Bulgaria and Finland. Competition is fierce and only the respective winners advance to the next phase
 

Six teams embark on Women’s EHF EURO 2016 journey

Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Faroe Islands, Finland, Israel and Kosovo are the first teams that enter the race for the Women’s EHF EURO 2016 in Sweden.

While the former three gather in Gabrovo, Bulgaria for the Group A qualification tournament, Group B comes together in Karjaa, Finland. For all matches the EHF live ticker will be available.

Both tournaments are played in a round-robin format, with one match each being played on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and only the group winners advancing to the next, the second qualification phase which starts in October this year.

Challenge Trophy finalists meet in Group A

In Group A, hosts Bulgaria play their first EHF EURO Qualification since 2008, while it is the first time at all for a women’s team from the Faroe Islands to try and make it to the EHF’s women’s national team flagship event.

Azerbaijan have been regulars in the qualification, but are yet to make it to a final tournament.

Besides enjoying the home crowd support, Bulgaria have also been the most successful team in recent years as they won the IHF/EHF Women’s Challenge Trophy in 2012 as well as in 2014.

In the 2012 final they beat Faroe Islands, their opponents on Friday, 36:27. A competitive encounter between Azerbaijan and Bulgaria already dates back almost seven years.

In the qualification for the Women’s World Championship 2009 Azerbaijan beat Bulgaria 31:26.

Debut for Kosovo in Group B

In Group B Kosovo’s women’s team makes its debut after Kosovo received full membership status at the 2014 EHF Congress in Dublin.

Tournament hosts Finland are the only team that played the qualification to the Women’s EHF EURO 2014 – it was arguably not their most successful campaign as they lost all six matches.

They were much more successful in 2010 when they won the Challenge Trophy, beating Israel in the final 28:26.

The latter reached the Challenge Trophy Final once more in 2014 when they eventually lost to Bulgaria.


TEXT: EHF / ts
 
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