Brazilian Handball Women Qualify for London 2012
In an absolutely clear way the handball women from Brazil have booked their tickets to the London 2012 Olympic Games. They beat Argentina in the one-sided final of the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, 33:15 (15:5) and remained the only team of the competition with a clear spot.
For the new and old Pan American Games winner the London 2012 Games will be the fourth straight participation under the five Olympic rings after 2000 (Final rank: 8), 2004 (7) and 2008 (9), and with a performing level like shown in Guadalajara, Brazil will be one of the contenders at 2011 World Championships in their home country in December.
Brazil are the fourth women's team to qualify for the London 2012 Olympics after Great Britain (Host), Norway (European Champion) and Korea (Winner of the Asian Qualification). One more direct ticket to London each will be decided at the Women’s World Championship in December in Brazil and the African Olympics Qualification in January in Morocco.
Twelve teams – including Japan (Asia) and Argentina (Pan America) - will then fight for the last six remaining places in London at the Olympic Qualification Tournaments.
The rundown and the final result of the final of the Pan American Games was nearly the same as at the Pan American Championships in Sao Bernardo do Campo last July, when host Brazil defeated the Argentines 35:16. The final match in Guadalajara was decided after only 21 minutes, with Brazil leading 12:3 after five early goals of Alexandra do Nascimento (in total eight hits). The half time result of 15:5 was the first 10 goal margin and by the 44th minute it was 15 goals with a score of 23:8. Another Brazilian, Fernanda da Silva, finished top scorer of the tournament with 35 goals.
In contrast to the final the bronze medal match was a thriller. The extra time had to decide as the Dominican Republic faced hosts Mexico. After 60 minutes the score was 28:28, but in the end the Caribbean girls celebrated with the bronze medal.
Chile secured fifth place thanks to a 31:27 (17:14) over Puerto Rico, as Uruguay won the 7/8 placement match 30:23 (12:11) against the USA – the only team without a single point in the competition.
Argentina and Brazil had been the dominant teams of the whole Pan American Games, but their semi-finals were completely different. Brazil outplayed hosts Mexico 43:12 (20:5), whilst Argentina were the lucky winners in the second semi-final. The “Gauchas” beat the Dominican Republic in a nail-biting thriller 19:18, with the half-time score equal at 11:11. Before, both finalists had won their Preliminary Round Groups with three victories in their three group matches.
3. Dominican Republic
6. Puerto Rico
TEXT: Björn Pazen