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07.06.2019, 16:26
Six European nations begin Emerging Nations title quest
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PREVIEW: Bulgaria and hosts Georgia are among the favourites to claim the trophy at the 3rd Emerging Nations Championship, beginning on Saturday in Tbilisi

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Six European nations begin Emerging Nations title quest

Six European teams will vie for the title at the 3rd Emerging Nations Championship, throwing off in Tbilisi, Georgia on Saturday 8 June and running through until 16 June. Great Britain, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Ireland and Malta are contesting the event alongside six other nations.

Azerbaijan and Great Britain will begin their campaigns in Group A, taking on PR of China, Colombia, Cuba and India. The other four European teams will start in Group B, alongside Nigeria and the USA. The group phase will end on 13 June, after which the placement round will begin. The top two sides in each group will proceed to the semi-finals.

For the European sides there is more than the Emerging Nations title to fight for, as the team that ranks highest will qualify for the relegation round of the EHF EURO 2022 Qualifiers. From the relegation round, three teams progress to the Phase 2 Qualifiers.

Luxembourg and Cyprus have already qualified as winners of Qualification Phase 1, and the other three teams will be the three lowest ranked from the current EHF EURO 2020 Qualifiers, which will be confirmed in 10 days’ time.

Bulgaria and Georgia among favourites to raise the trophy

It is the third edition of the Emerging Nations Championship, and the third to be hosted by a European Federation. Kosovo organised the maiden edition in 2015, before Bulgaria hosted in 2017. Faroe Islands were crowned champions at both previous events, but will not play the 2019 edition as they are part of the EHF EURO 2020 Qualifiers.

The current participant from Europe who ranked highest at the 2017 edition is Bulgaria, who placed fifth at their home event two years ago. Alongside hosts Georgia, they are a favourite to raise the trophy on 16 June.

Information on the Emerging Nations Championship, daily results and a live stream of matches will be available on competition.ihf.info.


TEXT: Courtney Gahan / ew
 
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