16.07.2013, 10:30
13 European teams vie for the medals in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Men’s Junior world championships starts on Sunday – Unpolished diamonds on the global stage

13 European teams vie for the medals in Bosnia and Herzegovina

13 of 24 teams which participate at the Men’s Junior world championship in Bosnia and Herzegovina come from Europe – and besides the strong Northern African teams Egypt and Tunisia (both semi-finalists at the 2011 world championship in Greece) all favourites come from Europe.

One of the main contenders, the Danish boys, start their preliminary round with the rematch of the 2011 semi-final against Tunisia on Sunday. Two years ago Denmark took the silver medal below the Germans, who are aiming to win their hat-trick after raising the trophies in 2009 and 2011. And one major contender for the final is already in the German preliminary round group, Croatia, the silver medallist of the 2012 U20 EHF EURO in Turkey.

The Croats lost the final clearly against Spain – and the Iberians including Alex Dujshebaev, are one of the “hot potatoes” for the gold medal, but starting their campaign at Zenica against 2011 semi-finalist Egypt on Sunday.

Hosts of the tournament hope to proceed at least to the knock-out stage, having strong European and intercontinental opponents in their group in the capital Sarajevo.

The three best ranked teams of the EHF U20 EURO qualified directly, nine more spots were decided in qualification tournaments, and Serbia managed to qualify as substitute nation, as Oceania withdrew from a participation.

Those are the groups of the preliminary round, starting on Sunday:
Group A in Banja Luka: Tunisia, France, Russia, Denmark, Angola, Serbia
Group B in Ljubuški: Germany, Croatia, Switzerland, Qatar, Netherlands, Algeria
Group C in Sarajevo: Bosnia, Congo, Slovenia, Argentina, Korea, Hungary
Group D in Zenica: Spain, Sweden, Brazil, Egypt, Chile, Kuwait

Four best ranked teams of each group qualify for the last 16  (22 July), in total eight remaining teams play for the positions 17-24 in the President’s Cup. The quarter-finals will be played on 24 July, the placement round for the rankings 9-16 starts on 23 July and will be finalised on 27 July. The semi-finals are scheduled for 26 July, the medal matches will be played on 28 July. All knock-out and placement matches will be played in Sarajevo, in the Skenderija hall and the final venue, the Olympic hall.

TEXT: Björn Pazen / br

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