Sweden take the title
Heja Sverige: Sweden are the new men’s junior world champions – after a tough and intense fight in the final against Spain.
On Sunday (28 July) the Scandinavians took the trophy after a 28:23 (12:10) win - a result, which does not reflect the largely close fought nature of the final.
Sweden took their third title at this level adding to wins in 2003 and 2007, as the Spaniards lost their fifth final in this age category after1987, 1989, 1995 and 2001.
Sweden were the clearly dominant team at the championship, winning all of their nine matches in Bosnia Herzegovina. Spain missed their chance to be the first country since 1990 to hold the titles of senior and junior World Championships at the same time.
Boosted by another brilliant performance by All-Star team goalkeeper Peter Johannesson, Sweden came flying out of the blocks and were away 10:5, after the Spanish coach Alberto Suarez had already taken two time-outs.
From minute 20 onwards, the Iberians improved and reduced the gap to only two goals at the break (9:11) and even managed to equalise for the first time at 12:12 early in the second half, led by their top scorer Alex Djushebaev (five goals in the final).
Despite their revival, Spain never took the lead in this fierce and intense battle of the two best teams of the tournament.
Sweden increased the gap decisively to 24:19, including a hat-trick of fast breaks by All-Star player Andreas Berg, who was the top Swedish scorer alongside Albin Lagergren with six goals.
The match was decided by Lagergren, when he found the net to make it 26:21 two minutes before the end.
France grab consolation
In the earlier match, France won their second ever medal in this competition, 16 years after legends like the Gille brothers, Thierry Omeyer, Didier Dinart won the bronze medal in Turkey, the new wave of “les bleus” secured a bronze at the expense of Croatia.
The team of top scorer and All Star team member Quentin Mihel (8 goals) beat the Balkans in a close bronze medal match 32:27 (15:11).
The Croats will have to wait two more years for their first ever medal at men’s junior world championships. Their coach Slavko Goluza, who had won three bronze medals with the Croatian men’s at the world and European championships and Olympic Games in 2012 and 2013 left Bosnia-Herzegovina empty-handed.
France were in the lead throughout, but the Croats fought hard to turn the match around, reducing the lead from 12:18 to 20:21. However, in the end France had too much in the final stages and the brave Croats had to accept defeat.
Goalkeeper: Peter Johannesson (Sweden)
Left wing: Andreas Berg (Sweden)
Left back: Quentin Minel (France)
Centre back: Pablo Cacheda Gonzales (Spain)
Right back: Alex Djushebaev (Spain)
Right wing: Ante Tokic (Croatia)
Pivot: Gonzalo Porras Perez (Spain)
Most Valuable Player (MVP): Philip Stenmalm (Sweden)
Top scorer: Abdullah Algharaballi (Kuwait) – 65 goals
Sweden – Spain 28:23 (12:10
France – Croatia 32:27 (15:11)
TEXT: Björn Pazen / cor