Second day of competition in the Beach Euro and only a few games of the preliminary round yet to be played.
Main Round beckons for beach teams
As the heat wave continues in Larvik – upwards of 25 degrees on court today and more to come this week – the European Beach Handball Championships entered their second day of competition.
The 23 men’s and women’s teams in the championships are still fighting their way through the preliminary round for that all-important place in the main round and a chance of a shot at the beach title.
Competition continues on Wednesday morning from 10.00 am with the final matches of the preliminary round being played in the morning session. The first main round matches will be played in the afternoon.
In the men’s competition four teams from each group go through to the main round, the bottom two teams drop out into a consolidation round.
Teams entering the main round take with them the result against the other team from their preliminary group.
The main round will decide the playing order of the quarter-finals, first in Group 1 plays the fourth in Group II and so on.
The qualification process in the women’s competition is more complicated as a result of there being 11 teams rather than 12 taking part.
The top three teams in each group go through to Group I, all teams are guaranteed a place in the quarter finals. The bottom six go through to Group II and the top two teams will qualify for the quarter finals.
Again, teams take with them the results gained in the preliminary round against the teams in the same main round group.
GROUP A WOMEN
The Euro hosts seem unstoppable on sand, they recorded another win against Hungary and then beat Spain with the shoot out.
Poland, without a win in these championships yet, are consigned to the consolation round, as are Spain with just two points in the championship.
Italy are through with six points and the winner of the encounter between Hungary and Denmark at 11.00 am on court 2 will take the final spot.
GROUP B WOMEN
Croatia and the Ukraine are through to the main round, Croatia currently sitting top of the Group by virtue of a better point difference, despite losing to Ukraine in a close shoot-out on Wednesday.
Turkey are out, without a point at the championship so far, which leaves Sweden and Switzerland hoping for the final third spot, now sitting equal on points in the table.
Switzerland meet Turkey, the weakest team in the group, and have perhaps have the better chance than Sweden, who must play the strong Ukrainian side.
GROUP A MEN
Russia have shown just why they are the reigning European Champions in the championships so far. Four matches, four wins, though they have shown they can be beaten, dropped set in their last two matches.
Denmark are through thanks to their better set difference even if they lose, but the final two places will be decided on Wednesday between Turkey, Norway and Ukraine.
GROUP B MEN
The world champions, Croatia, lost points today, slipping up against the Swiss after losing in a shoot-out.
They are through as are Hungary and Spain. Switzerland and Poland meet in their final encounter but even if the Swiss lose, and finish equal on points, and set difference, their better goal difference (68 goals) over Poland will send them through.
TEXT: JJ Rowland
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