European Open start in GothenburgArticle
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NEWS REPORT: 16 men’s U17 teams take to the court at the European Open in Gothenburg from 3 to 7 July. It is the first event of its kind for this age category

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European Open start in Gothenburg

The European Open enter new territory this week as for the first time in the twelve-year-long history of the event, there will be men’s U17 teams taking to the court in Gothenburg from 3 to 7 July 2017.

In September 2016 the EHF Executive Committee agreed to a revision to the European Open.

Due to the increase in the number of European teams playing in the World Championships, it was agreed that the age levels of the competitions should be reduced and the competitions be played at similar ages to the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF).

From 2017 the European Open will be played at M17 (2017) and W16 (2018) and then continue in alternate years.

"2017 will mark a departure for the competition as this event débuts the athletes born 2000 and later," says EHF President Michael Wiederer.

"In keeping with the purpose of being a springboard event, the teams are in Gothenburg to test their mettle over the coming five days. Embracing the chance to play on the international stage, we look forward to crowning the new champions at the end of this week."

When the draw took place in Vienna, the 16 participating teams were drawn in the following groups

Group A Group B Group C Group D
Iceland Sweden Norway Poland
Czech Republic Slovakia Romania Israel
Belarus Faroe Islands Austria Netherlands
Finland Estonia Georgia Luxembourg

Luxembourg join the European Open for the first time. At the 2015 men's event, which was still contested by U19 teams, Iceland topped the podium ahead of Sweden and Spain.

The first two teams of each preliminary round group qualify for the main round. The teams ranked first in the main round will play the final, the teams ranked second will fight for bronze.

The final matches will take place on Friday night in Gothenburg's Scandinavium which most recently also hosted the final of the Women's EHF EURO 2016.

TEXT: EHF / ts