Men’s Junior World Championship in Bosnia-Herzegovina: Only Russia failed on the way to the knock-out stage
12 of 13 European teams in the last 16
After 60 matches the preliminary round of the men’s junior world championship in Bosnia-Herzegovina was finalized on Saturday night as 12 of 13 European teams made it to the top 16. Only Russia missed the knock-out stage due to their final defeat in Group A against Denmark. As the Russians were equal in points with France, the direct encounter needed to decide – and this match French team won 33:28.
In Group B the decision was also close, as the Netherlands, Switzerland and Qatar were equal at four points in the end, but due to the better goal difference both European teams marched through to the next stage.
Three teams with a perfect record
Sweden, Slovenia and defending U21 world champion Germany finished the preliminary round with a clear sweep of five victories in five matches, fourth group winner were the unbeaten team of Denmark, which only tied with Serbia.
Host Bosnia and Herzegovina made it to a knock-out stage of a major handball event for the first time ever in the history of the federation since the independence of the country.
And like all teams from former Yugoslavia – Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia - they finished among the two best teams of their respective groups. And the Bosnians gained a huge public interest: All matches of the host were attended by at least 4500 spectators, including the top duel against Slovenia, visited by more than 8000 fans.
European junior champions Spain had some initial problems, taking only a draw with Egypt, and they were clashed unexpected clearly 37:27 by Sweden, but finished second in their group like the Junior EHF EURO finalist Croatia.
Four European countries guaranteed in quarter-finals
Besides those 12 European teams Brazil, Egypt, Argentina and Tunisia clinched their berth for the last 16, which will be played on Monday (22 July) in two venues in Sarajevo.
Russia will start their campaign in the President’s Cup for the positions 17 to 20 against Qatar on Monday.
Skenderija hall Sarajevo:
Olympic hall Sarajevo:
Photo: Stephane Pillaud
TEXT: Björn Pazen / br
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