Sweden dethrone Russia at Women's 17 EHF EUROArticle
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MATCH REVIEW: The Women's 17 EHF EURO has new champions. In a hotly contested final Sweden beat defending champions Russia 26:24. Earlier on Sunday Denmark had taken the bronze by beating Portugal 42:28. At the end of the competition the All-Star Team was named

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Sweden dethrone Russia at Women's 17 EHF EURO

Sweden are the new Women's 17 EHF EURO champions. The Scandinavian squad beat defending champions Russia in a thrilling final 26:24 and took the title for the first time in the event's history.

Earlier on Sunday (25 August) Sweden's neighbours, Denmark, had taken bronze, beating Portugal 26:24 in the match for third place.

Russia had to settle for silver, but at least Elizaveta Malashenko had something to cheer about as she was voted Most Valuable Player of the final tournament.

"It is an amazing feeling. We have a really good team and it doesn't matter which team we play against. We know we can do it," said Sweden's Ida Reinhildsson after the final.

"It was so wonderful for me. It is also amazing to have our fans and parents here."

Russia came into the match as favourites and at the very beginning it looked as if they were able to control the game as they powered to a 6:3 lead after 11 minutes.

But Sweden reacted quickly, closing the gaps in their defense, levelling the match at 7:7 and going into half-time even with a 13:12 lead.

In the second half Russia tried to get back into the game but were regularly outwitted by the perfectly rehearsed Swedish team.

With 15 minutes to go Sweden led 20:18, with two minutes to go they led 26:23 and when the final whistle was blown, they finally started celebrating.

"We lost this game in our heads, we didn’t cope with the pressure, which was really huge," said Russia' coach Liubov Sidoricheva.

"We didn’t do it and we are disappointed. We were able to win, but we didn’t play like a team. We played too individual in attack and that was our problem."

Denmark beat Portugal to take bronze

Just before the final threw off, the first medal decision of the day was made when Denmark beat Portugal 42:28 in the match for third place.

Denmark went into the match knowing that they are capable of beating Portugal as both teams had met in the main round with Denmark taking a 38:21 victory.

And even though Portugal did their best to keep the match open as long as long as possible, the Danish supremacy became evident quite soon.

After a strong start which saw Portugal in the lead after 10 minutes, Denmark took control of the game and forged ahead to 22:16 after 30 minutes,

In the second half Denmark's dominance continued, the gap between the two teams increased and in the end stood at 42:28.

"Of course, I am very happy about the result. I think Portugal was playing very well in the first minutes, when they put pressure on us," said Denmark's Laerke Sofie Christensen.

"In the beginning we had problems with their defense. They were good in it, we couldn’t find a solution.

"However, we did find one after twenty minutes, we were back to the game, we played like last time we met them.

"Team work was really good again. We didn’t play for ourselves but for the team."

In the placement matches Norway beat Croatia 28:27 in the match for 7th rank, and Montenegro finished 5th after beating Romania 26:24.

All results of the Women's 17 EHF EURO can be found here.

All-Star Team named

At the final tournament's last day the All-Star Team of the Women's 17 EHF EURO was named. The awards went to the following players:

Goalkeeper: Althea Rebecca Reinhardt (Denmark)
Left wing: Olivia Mellegard (Sweden)
Left back: Sandra Santiago (Portugal)
Middle back: Yaroslava Frolova (Russia)
Right back: Djurdjina Malovic (Montenegro)
Right wing: Emma Ekenman-Fernis (Sweden)
Line player: Sophia Fehri (France)

Best Player of the Tournament (MVP): Elizaveta Malashenko (Russia)
Top scorer: Cristina Laszlo (Romania) – 56 goals
Best defender: Maria Lykkegaard (Denmark)


TEXT: EHF / ts