FTC hopes boosted by Elek Cup victoryArticle
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Three Women's EHF Champions League participants met in Hungary for a pre-season tournament

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FTC hopes boosted by Elek Cup victory

FTC Rail Cargo Hungaria welcomed Larvik, Rostov-Don and Siófok the the Elek cup over the weekend, a perfect pre-season test for all clubs involved.

The cup was named after Ferencváros coach Gábor Elek's father, Gyula Elek, who was a very successful trainer at the club from 1966 to 1992.

On the first day of competition, FTC beat Hungarian rivals Siófok 35:31 and followed it up with a 30:28 victory against Rostov in a much closer game.

Last season’s Women's EHF Champions League finalists Larvik also had a perfect first day, with wins over Rostov (31:26) and Siófok (40:33) setting up a winner-takes-all final match the following day.

Day two opened with the clash for third place in the competition between Siófok and Rostov. Despite their best efforts, Siófok were unable to keep up with the Russians, who took the bronze with a 25:18 win.

Surprise result

Finally, the battle for first place was in focus. The highly anticipated game proved to be somewhat disappointing, as the home side routed Larvik, cruising to a 34:22 win. The loss was a surprising one for the Norwegians, even though they came to Hungary without veterans like Lené Rantala, Cecilie Leganger and Tonje Larsen, which left them vulnerable in goal.

Ferencváros were without Nerea Pena, who is still going through rehabilitation after her second ligament tear and operation on her knee. However, there was good news in the shape of their new back court player, German international Laura Steinbach played well over the weekend for her new team.

"We had a big victory against Larvik. This is nice, but we shouldn't sit back and be pleased with this achievement. It shows that we are in the right direction.

“I hope we can play at least like this in September. This cup was an absolutely positive impression for us, we can build from it. We have to believe that we are a good team," said FTC’s Zsuzsanna Tomori, who was top goalscorer of the cup and last season’s Women’s EHF Champions League.

The result will give FTC great confidence going into their qualification tournament in September against Lokomotiva Zagreb, LK Zug and fellow Hungarians Erd.

Larvik have already qualified for the Group Matches and could be joined in Group D by Rostov-Don, should they overcome the challenge of Fleury Loiret, Jomi Salerno and WHC Vardar.

Elek cup standings:
1. FTC Rail Cargo Hungaria
2. Larvik
3. Rostov-Don
4. Siófok

Best goalkeeper: Alena Abramovich (FTC)
Best player: Isabel Blanco (Larvik)
Top goal scorer: Zsuzsanna Tomori (FTC)

TEXT: Balogh Ildikó / cor