Qualification Europe for 2013 Women's World Championship throws off
Turkey, Belarus win first matches
Belarus, Lithuania, Turkey and Azerbaijan have thrown off the first phase of the Qualification Europe for the 2013 Women's World Championship on Wednesday, 3 October.
Belarus beat Lithuania 42:22 (22:13) in front of 2,000 spectators in the first Group 3 match. Top scorer was Belarusian Karyna Yezhykkova who netted nine times. Lithuania's Birute Stellbrink scored almost one third of her teams goals but her seven successful attempts were not enough to threaten Belarus.
Turkey had a promising start, confidently beating Azerbaijan 35:19 in their Group 4 match. Turkey led 16:9 at the break and increased the gap even further in the second half.
Turkey reached the qualification play-offs for the 2011 World Championship two years ago but lost both matches to the Netherlands back then.
Further matches in Groups 3 and 4 will be held over the following days. In Group 3 Italy play Poland on 4 October and Lithuania on 7 October. Poland take on Belarus also on 7 October.
In Group 4 Portugal play Turkey on October 6.
All matches are part of phase 1 of the Women's World Championship Qualification Europe. This phase will be played in four groups: three with four teams and one with three teams.
The winner of each group will go through to the play-offs, where they will join 12 of the 14 teams already qualified for the World Championship play-offs. The top two teams ranked at the EHF EURO 2012 will join Serbia as hosts and Norway as reigning champions qualifying directly for the event.
Group 1 and Group 2 will be played in a tournament format while Group 3 and Group 4 are played in a home and away format.
A complete overview of all groups and matches can be found on the eurohandball.com here.
The Women's World Championship will take place from 7 to 22 December 2013 in Serbia.
TEXT: EHF / ts