PREVIEW: The times when a defeat might not have hurt that much because it was still the group phase or main round are over at the Beach Handball EURO 2017! On Saturday morning, the quarter-finals will throw off
Beach Handball EURO 2017 reaches knockout stages
Up until Friday at the Beach Handball EURO 2017, it might have been possible for the teams – in the one or the other match – to save some valuable energy in Zagreb's hot and humid weather.
But these times are definitely over come Saturday morning when the quarter-finals throw off at the shores of Jarun Lake.
Starting off the action at 10:00 hrs are the women's national teams – which will take without one of the favourites.
Having arrived arguably with a different team than two years ago at the EURO in Lloret de Mar, defending champions Hungary have missed the quarter-finals as they finished only fifth in their main round group. Also out are hosts Croatia who lost the decisive game against Poland 2:1 on Friday.
With France, who have returned to the European stage for the first time since 2004, Greece and Denmark, there are three new teams in this knockout round compared to the last 8 in 2015.
The strongest teams to date and arguably the hottest medal favourites are world champions Spain, EURO 2015 silver medallists Norway and the Netherlands – the only women's team at this EURO yet to lose a game.
In the quarter-finals the Netherlands face Poland, France meet Spain, Norway play Russia and Greece battle it out against Denmark.
The quarter-finals on Court 1 and Court 2, Norway vs Russia and France vs Spain, will be streamed live on youtube.com/ehfTV.
With hosts and defending champions Croatia, Spain, Ukraine, Hungary, Norway and Russia, six 2015 quarter-finalists have made it again to the last 8. New compared to two years ago are Sweden and Denmark.
No team is unbeaten anymore in the men's event, but Croatia and Spain, the 2015 finalists, as well as Hungary and Ukraine, the bronze medallists at the EURO 2015, have produced the most promising performances to so far.
In the quarter-finals, Croatia play against Norway, Spain face Sweden, Hungary meet Denmark and Ukraine are up against Russia.
Semi-finals live on ehfTV
The semi-finals and finals of the Beach Handball EURO 2017 will be streamed live on ehfTV.
The broadcasts includes the two women's semi-finals on Saturday at 16:00 and 17:00 hrs as well as the two men's semi-finals at 18:00 and 19:00 hrs. On Sunday, coverage will start at 14:00 with the women's match for third place.
It is the first time that the European Handball Federation's own internet TV platform broadcasts a beach handball tournament.
Matches at the Beach Handball EURO 2017 are produced to international TV standards, with six cameras providing the best images from all angles including super slow-motions.
English commentary for all matches is provided by ehfTV commentator Chris O'Reilly.
TEXT: EHF / ts
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