PREVIEW: Sixth edition of the World Beach Handball Championships throws off in Recife on Tuesday
11 European teams out to break Brazilian dominance
Just nine days after Germany's football team lifted the World Cup trophy towards the Rio de Janeiro sky, already the next World Championship event takes place in Brazil.
At the sandy shores of Recife, right at the very east coast of the country, the sixth edition of the Men's and Women's World Beach Handball Championships throws off on Tuesday, 22 July (a live stream is available).
Among the 24 teams competing, 12 each in the men's and the women's event, eleven come from Europe, including European men's champions Croatia and women's champions Hungary.
In the women's event Norway and Italy have been drawn to Group A alongside Australia, Brazil, Uruguay and Chinese Taipeh. In Group B Hungary, Denmark, Spain and Ukraine face Argentina and Thailand.
In the men's event Croatia, Russia and Spain play in Group B together with Qatar, Egypt and Argentina. In Group A Denmark and Serbia play against Brazil, Oman, Australia and Uruguay.
The first three teams of each group qualify for the main round which all six teams will play in one group in a round-robin system. From the main round then the first four nations qualify for the semi-finals.
Hosts Brazil will be the team to beat in the men's as well as the women's event. Out of the five World Championships that have been played, Brazil won three in the men's event and two in the women's event. Brazil's teams are also the defending champions in both events.
The most successful European men's team is Croatia with a gold medal from 2008 and a bronze medal from 2012.
The most successful European women's teams are Norway and Russia with one gold and one bronze medal each. Russia were world champions in 2004, Norway topped the podium in 2010.
For more information also visit the event's official website.
TEXT: EHF / ts
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