22.06.2017, 07:00
Competition heats up at Beach Handball EURO 2017

REVIEW: Heavy rain put an early end to the second day of the Beach Handball EURO 2017 on Wednesday, but has made the start to Thursday even more exciting

Competition heats up at Beach Handball EURO 2017

The women's competition's preliminary round was supposed to come to an end on Wednesday at the Beach Handball EURO 2017 in Zagreb, however heavy rain forced a cancellation of the day's final six matches; the last six that needed to be played in the women's group phase.

Thursday will now start with these six games at 10:00 hrs, guaranteeing crunch-time moments already in the early morning.

After every women's team has played either three or four times, the top position is still up for grabs in all three groups.

The Netherlands in Group A and Norway, silver medallists at the EURO 2015, in Group B have the best chances to reach the main round with maximum points. Both have won their three games to date.

In Group C nothing is decided at all, with Italy, bronze medallists at the EURO 2015, world champions Spain as well as Croatia and Greece being all on four points.

In the morning at 11:00 hrs, Greece face Croatia while Italy play against Spain. Just like in the previous days, all matches from Court 1 and 2 will be streamed live on youtube.com/ehfTV.

While the fight for the top is close, it is decided that Germany, Sweden and Switzerland – all are last in their groups – will play the consolation round for places 13 to 15.

Switzerland received a small prize though on Wednesday afternoon, with Nicole Odermatt being given the day's Fair Play Award, sponsored by the EHF's sports outfitter Salming, for recognising a wrong substitution of her own team.

And there was reason for celebration in the French camp, as the women's team won its first match this EURO, beating Sweden 2:0.

In the women's event, the first four teams of each group qualify for the main round which will be played with two groups of six teams each.

Spain and Hungary fight for Group A's top spot

In the men's competition, there are three teams left which are still to lose a game. Hungary currently top Group A with five wins from as many matches, but Spain are hot on their heels with four from four.

In Group B, Croatia, the defending European and world champions, have also won their first four matches. They will end their group phase campaign with matches against Norway at 13:00 hrs and Ukraine at 16:00 hrs.

Hungary and Spain face off in Group A at 16:00 hrs in a match that is likely to decide the top spot. Earlier in the morning, at 12:00 hrs, Spain play against Germany.

The first four teams of each group qualify for the main round.

TEXT: EHF / ts

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