Women's 16 European Open kickstarts summer of YAC events
The first Women’s European Open contested by Under 16 girls will run from July 2 to 6 in Gothenburg, Sweden, with 20 teams vying for the trophy.
In the past, the Women’s European Open was played between Under 18 teams, with six of these tournaments held since 2005. Following seven events in the men’s category, which was previously for Under 19 players and will be for Under 17 teams in the future, the 2018 European Open is the 14th edition.
“Over the past few years, we have witnessed a renewed vigour and focus amongst the National Handball Federations of Europe in the development of young players; and in order to have the best support systems in place, the EHF modernised its YAC [younger age category] events,” said EHF President Michael Wiederer. “Created in 2005, the purpose of the European Open was to provide young players with the chance to gain much needed international experience.
“Now, in keeping with the restructured YAC EUROs and European championships, the future of the European Open will debut the athletes born 2002 and later.”
The playing groups were drawn as follows:
Group A: Norway, Poland, Sweden, Italy, Czech Republic
Group B: Hungary, Lithuania, Netherlands, Faroe Islands, Georgia
Group C: France, Spain, Finland, Iceland, Azerbaijan
Group D: Russia, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland, Estonia
Estonia will make their debut at the European Open, which signals the start of a summer of YAC events organised by the EHF, including the Men’s 20 and 18 EHF EUROs.
The first two teams of each group qualify for the main round. The respective group winners then play the final on 6 July at 20:30, while the two second ranked teams in the main round play the bronze medal match, also on 6 July.
More information on the European Open matches can be found on the official competition page.
TEXT: Courtney Gahan