Beach handball fans really got what they asked for as BHC SKKM-EKATERINODAR in the men's and Skrim Kongsberg in the women's event topped the podium after three exciting days on Gran Canaria
Shoot-outs decide medal matches at inaugural EHF Champions Cup
If there was ever any doubt about the excitement factor of beach handball, it was washed away when the premiere edition of the EHF Champions Cup went into its final day on Sunday.
After the semi-finals had been played early in the morning it was crunch time in the early afternoon.
In the final of the women’s event Skrim Kongsberg from Norway faced Croatian side Detono Zagreb, who up until the final had not lost even a single set.
However, it took Kongsberg only 10 minutes to make exactly that happen when they took the first set 20:16. But Zagreb bounced back quickly, and spurred on by Lucija Kelava, who scored 19 points overall, they took the second set 26:18.
In the subsequent shoot-out Kongsberg’s Tonje Klevstad saw her attempt saved, but because Zagreb’s Nikolina Vojic and Katja Herakovic also faltered in front of the goal, it was Kongsberg who ultimately celebrated.
Earlier in the day Italian side FIGH Esercito Futura Roma had taken bronze with a 2:1 (14:15, 14:9, 8:6) win against Brüder Ismaning from Germany.
EKATERINODAR win men’s event
After they had seen their women’s colleagues lose to Kongsberg, Detono Zagreb’s men’s team was determined to take revenge when they met BHC SKKM-EKATERINODAR from Russia in the final.
And first it looked as if things were going their way as they took the first set 22:20.
But there were no easy wins this afternoon and hence EKATERINODAR – despite a red card for Viacheslav Kasatkin – took the second set 17:14, and the men’s final also went into shoot-out.
Of the first five attempts for each team, two Croatian and two Russian players did not convert their shots.
The shoot-out was therefore extended, and Zagreb’s Marko Hranilovic was the first whose nerves succumbed to the pressure, while EKATERINODAR’s Roman Kalashnikov scored to secure the tournament victory.
The bronze medal game in the men’s event had also gone into shoot-out with the Dabas Beach Boy’z from Hungary beating Club BM Playa Ciudad de Malaga 2:1 (14:20, 21:16, 5:0).
All-star teams named
Following the conclusion of the first EHF Beach Handball Champions Cup, the best players were named by the organiser and the EHF.
In the men's event Evgeny Svestula from EKATERINODAR was awarded Most Valuable Player. The Best Goalkeeper-award was given to Norbert Duleba of Hungary's Dabas Beach Boy'z, while Alberto Iglesias of Club BM Playa Ciudad de Malaga received the award for the best specialist.
Zvonimir Djikic was the tournament's best scorer with 85 points and Copaca Bale from Switzerland received the Fair Play-award.
In the women's event Anika Niederweiser of FIGH Esercito Futura Roma was named MVP. The Italian side also had the best goalkeeper, Monika Pruenster, in its ranks.
Ingvild Kristiansen Bakkerud of Skrim Kongsberg became the best specialist, Lucija Kelava (Detono Zagreb, 92 points) was the Champions Cup's top scorer and the Fair Play-award went to the Beachqueens from Switzerland.
TEXT: EHF / ts
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