Beach Handball: Croatia and Greece the early favorites

The curtain will be raised on Sunday, August 25th, for the II Mediterranean Beach Games “Patras 2019” Beach Handball Tournaments.

The Men’s tournament will feature ten teams, more than any other sport, whereas there will be five teams competing in the Women’s tournament. In total, 150 athletes will step on the sand to play Beach Handball in the Games.

The Men’s teams have been divided into two groups, and the first round-robin phase will be followed by the quarterfinals, where teams will play each other in knock-out games.

Group A consists of Greece, Italy, Tunisia, Morocco, and Malta, while Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Portugal, and Albania will face each other in Group B.

Croatia is a Men’s Beach Handball powerhouse, enjoying considerable tradition and achievements in the sport. The Croatians were crowned World Champions in 2008 and 2016, and won the silver medal in the same competition in 2018. Croatia has also won the European Championships four times in a row (2009, 2011, 2013, 2015), and the team coming to Patras will be fresh from its participation in this year’s tournament that was recently held in Poland.

Besides Croatia, Tunisia is also expected to be among the dominant teams in the Men’s tournament. The Pescara 2015 gold medalists have also prevailed in the African Beach Games that took place from June 14th to 23rd, 2019, in Cape Verde.

Hosts Greece, fourth in the previous Mediterranean Beach Games, will field a team with several new players, aiming at winning a medal.

Egypt, too, has a rich tradition in Beach Volleyball and considerable experience in major international events, having participated in seven of the eight World Championships held to date.

In the Women’s tournament, the first round-robin phase will be followed by the semifinals, where the top four teams will face each other in knock-out games.

Greece, gold medalist of the 2018 World Championships held in Kazan, Russia, is the favorite to top the group, despite the serious absence of sisters Magda KEPESIDOU and Nikolina KEPESIDOU.

Italy, winner of the tournament four years ago in Pescara; Cyprus, silver medalist in the same competition; and Portugal, making great strides in all age groups, will also field strong teams and target a place on the podium.

The four European teams that will compete in the Women’s tournament have all participated in the recent European Championships, held in Stare Jablonki, Poland, from July 2nd to 7th, while Tunisia triumphed in the 2019 African Beach Games.

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