Danes take second youth title of the summerArticle
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FINAL REVIEW: Narrow win against Russia gives Denmark the win in the Women’s 17 EHF EURO Final

Danes take second youth title of the summer

The future seems to be particularly bright for women’s handball in Denmark.

Earlier this summer, the country won the Women’s 19 EHF EURO, defeating Russia in the final, and Sunday, the U17 team emulated this achievement by becoming European champions in their age category – and again, Russia were the beaten opponents.

However, the Danish girls could not be certain of lifting the trophy until after a very close final in the Jane Sandanski arena of Skopje, in which the teams took change at having the upper hand and only one goal separated the two sides at the end, when the scoreboard read 25:24 in favour of Denmark.

The Danes had carried out their morning training on the day of the final in an untraditional way – outdoor on asphalt in 25 degrees.

At the beginning of the final, this did not seem to have been a particularly good idea, as Russia opened the match with a 4:1 lead.

Five Danish goals in succession rapidly changed this development, though, and the rest of the first half was dominated by the Danes to take a 14:10 half-time lead.

Russian comeback too late

The 1,800 spectators saw a Danish team who continued to be in the driving seat from the start of the second half as they increased their lead to 16:11, and with five minutes left, Denmark were still leading by three goals, 24:21.

A good finish from the Russians, mainly thanks to an extremely aggressive defence, enabled them to reduce the distance to one goal, but their comeback came too late to change to result of the match and the young Danes celebrated European glory.

“A big compliment to our aggressive 6-0 defence, which won the match for us, and it was also great that we were able to hold on the ball for so long in our last attack. The Russians reduced to 25:24 with a minute left, so it was really very experienced of such young girls to hold on to the ball for so long,” said Denmark coach Heine Eriksen.

His opposite number Daniil Shmaevskyi reflected: “It as a very good final with a lot of emotions, but also with a lot of mistakes. Russia made more mistakes, and that is one of the reasons why we won silver and not gold. We made a lot of mistakes, especially in the attack. Denmark were the better opponent,” found the Russian coach.

Final standing:
1. Denmark
2. Russia
3. Hungary
4. Romania
5. Slovenia
6. Croatia
7. France
8. Sweden
9. Germany
10. Spain
11. Netherlands
12. Norway
13. Portugal
14. Slovakia
15. Czech Republic
15. FYR Macedonia


The tournament's All-star team was as follows:

Goalkeeper: Laerke Sofie Tanderup Soerensen, Denmark
Left wing: Sarah Grunnet Sougaart, Denmark
Left back: Karina Sabirova, Russia
Centre back: Matea Pletikosic, Croatia
Line player: Noemi Paztor, Hungary
Right back: Antonina Skorobogatchenko, Russia
Right wing: Maria Dudina, Russia 

Most Valuable Player: Helena Elver Hagesoe, Denmark
Top scorer: Maria Sorina Tirca, Romania, 55 goals in seven matches
Best defender: Kristina Joergensen, Denmark

The members of the All-star team were presented with a t-shirt with the logo “Handball is in my heart” as part of an initiative from the Women's Handball Board (WHB).

Additionally four female head coaches were presented with a t-shirt and financial award to their federation as part of a WHB initiative to promote the development of female top coaches in handball.

Awards were made to Julijana Damchevska (MKD), Ana Seabra (POR), Mariana Tirca (ROU) and Marianna Nemcikova (SVK).





TEXT: Peter Bruun / cor