TOURNAMENT REVIEW: The trio's squads dominate the men's and the women's event at the under-18 European Beach Handball Championships in Lorca, Spain
Hungary, Spain, Russia share the spoils in Lorca
A new stronghold emerges in European beach handball with its three pillars coming from Hungary, Spain and Russia.
The beginning was made on Sunday by Spain's women's team who beat Turkey 2:0 (14:13, 13:11) in the match for third place. Outstanding player was Lara Lozano Macias who scored 12 points in this match.
In the women's final the two previously unbeaten teams from Hungary and Russia faced, and the former right from the start left no doubt about which squad would leave the court victorious.
Led by the impeccable Laura Szecsödi, who was eventually awarded the event's Most Valuable Player and scored 16 points in the final, and her teammate Reka Frigyesi, who scored 10 points and took the overall top scorer crown with 72, Hungary took the first set 18:9 before storming to a 20:16 in the second set.
On top of their bronze medal, Spain was honoured with the best goalkeeper award for Maria Barnes Guirado and the Fair Play Award.
Hungary show strength in the shoot-out
In the men's event it was also Hungary who proved too strong for every other team.
In the final they met the Spanish hosts and took the hotly contested first set 16:15. However, Spain quickly bounced back and won the second set 27:17 in such convincing fashion - despite red cards for Carles Asensio Cambra and Javier Holst Araiudo - that the psychological advantage for the shoot-out seemed to be in their favour.
But in Spain's third attempt Francisco Javier Martinez Molina missed, while all five Hungarian players did not fumble in front of the goal.
Two hours before the final Russia had taken bronze with a 2:0 (17:15, 22:15) victory against Croatia.
Russia's Egor Kochura was also presented with MVP award, Ukraine's Maxym Vyunk was named best goalkeeper and the top scorer title went to Switzerland's Mirko Hess who scored 123 points over the three days of the competition.
Portugal was given the Fair Play award for the men's event.
TEXT: EHF / ts
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