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03.08.2017, 14:05
Women’s 17 EHF Championship underway in FYR Macedonia
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MID-ROUND REVIEW: The Women's 17 EHF Championship threw-off earlier this week (31 July) with the Macedonian capital Skopje hosting young European women’s teams until 6 August
 

Women’s 17 EHF Championship underway in FYR Macedonia

The Women's 17 EHF Championship threw-off earlier this week (31 July) with the Macedonian capital Skopje hosting young European women’s teams until 6 August.

The competition started with an opening ceremony featuring Darko Kaevski, Director of Macedonian Agency of Youth and Sport, welcoming everyone to his country.

“We want to thank the European Handball Federation who gave us the opportunity to organise this event,” he said. “As a country, we are very proud that handball is our number one sport and we are working a lot to have a bright future in handball.

"This event is one of our projects to help the development of women’s handball.”

EHF Representative, Narcisa Lecusanu then officially opened the competition with all games set to be played at the Kale Sports Hall.

“On behalf of the European Handball Federation, it is my honour to welcome our participating delegations to the Women's 17 EHF championship 2017,” she said. “Each team has the skill and talent to win, but in the end, it will be the team with the most determination that will be named champions.”

PRELIMINARY ROUND

Group A
Poland and Greece threw-off the competition directly on Monday (31 July) after the opening ceremony with Poland winning, but the match would be later struck from the records due to Greece being excluded from the competition after their second match against the hosts the following day, and their subsequent appeal being rejected.

The second match of the opening day in Group A saw Switzerland beat the Faroe Islands 28:22 (16:11), as Faroese player Maria Halsdottir Weyhe scored an impressive 14 goals. The following day, the Faroes lost again as Poland turned in an impressive 32:17 (17:6) win.

Due to Greece’s exclusion, all teams were automatically awarded a 10:0 win in the group and on the third matchday (2 August), host side FYR Macedonia finally opened their championship campaign with a very tight 24:23 (13:13) win over Switzerland which saw the home side take a team time out three seconds from the end to ensure the victory.

“We are very happy with this victory,” said Macedonian player of the match Marija Tasevska. “We fought and played with our heart. We obeyed all the advice from our coach and truly deserved to win.”

After three days of competition in Preliminary Round Group A, two matchdays and three games remain, with Poland, Switzerland and the hosts all on four points.

Group B
The Slovenians made the short journey to Skopje and opened their competition with a win, beating Israel 28:24 (11:13). “I hope that in our other matches we will play better,” said Slovenia coach Patricija Janezic. “This game is already behind us and from now we will think only for the next match.”

In the second match of the day in Group B, Kosovo created a little piece of their own handball history, recording their first-ever win in a European youth category as they squeezed past Iceland 26:25 (16:12). Sara Rexhepi was the top-scorer with 11 and best player for her side, but Hana Hot, who put her side one up 30 seconds before the end, will have her name written down in the Kosovan handball history books.

“This is a great moment for us,” said Kosovo coach Faruk Shala. “This is an historic win and I did not expect to play as good as we did in this match.”

Bulgaria overcame a four-goal deficit at half-time (14:10), to beat Israel 29:27 in the second matchday while Slovenia beat Kosovo easily (35:22). “We want to take first place in the tournament,” said Slovenia coach Boris Cuk. “Now we have two days off and we have time to rest and a good chance to prepare for the next matches.”
 
The third matchday saw Kosovo lose again, against Israel (29:26), a result about which Benjami Ingel, Israel coach, said he was proud of his team. Bulgaria beat Iceland 24:19 (13:9) to leave the northern European team bottom of the table without any points, well behind Slovenia and Bulgaria on four points each.

The full playing schedule can be found HERE.

Follow the Women's 17 EHF Championship
Official website: http://w17ehf2017mkd.mk/

Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/W17EHFChampionshipMacedonia2017/

ehfTV link for all games live: HERE

Photos: Official MKD 2017 website


TEXT: EHF/amc
 
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