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Handball 2016/17

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    Feeling a bit more confident after the first leg. GD won by 4 which is nice but today isn't a foregone conclusion.

    I idly looked up who the winner will play and it turns out it's Donbas. From Donetsk. Where there is a war.

    There isn't much in English about them but they do appear to be still based in Donetsk. Any Ukrainian speakers (or I guess Russian given where they're from) who can confirm?


      They seem to be a rebrand of HC Shakthar, who were in last year’s Challenge Cup and played both legs of their tie against Luxembourgeois opposition in Luxembourg.

      I can’t imagibe the EHF asking anyone to travel to Donbass.


        That's a different team I think. GD or Livingston have been drawn to play against this team


          Look at the Former Club Nanes at the top right


            Ah I see. I'm sorry for doubting the collective.

            23 all draw sees GD win. I know it's not against proper European competition but it's quite something.


              Final of the European Women's Handball Championship today, 5.30pm (French time) between France (current world champion) and Russia (current olympic champion).


              Funny hands-on technology used by TV2 Danmark:


              Thanks to the "iball", speed has been recorded, some seriously shots in there (>100 km/h), the 1st one in the footage below by Dutch player Lois Abbingh (in yesterday’s semi-final vs France) was recorded at 108 km/h, it’s so fast you can hardly see the ball.


              Should be a good game today. In the 2016 Olympics final, Russia beat France 22-19, the Russians reached the final for the 1st time after a most dramatic and physical semi-final vs favourites Norway. (38-37 in extra time, Russian goal in the last second). Neither country has ever won the Euros (1st final for France, 2nd one for Russia).

              The 2 teams met in the group phase, Russia won 26-23:


                Superb match so far between France and Russia (I should say between France and Rostov-Don as 80% of the Russian players play there), very physical and technical, superb wing play.


                  Never a red card


                    What a game, such intensity, in front of 14,000 spectators. Which means that in the last 8 international competitions (Worlds 2017, Euros 2016 & 2018, Olympics 2016), France Men & Women have been on the rostrum 7 times out of 8: 3 golds, 2 silvers, 2 bronzes (the only reverse being the Men's 2016 Euros, 5th).


                      An excellent game and tournament. It was great that the final could go either way pretty much until the final minute.

                      I fell so sorry for Allison Pineau though. It was, by the strictest interpretation of the rules a red card but very harsh. The rule is the only one keepers have protecting them against getting hit in the face, and even then only on 7m throws.

                      Norway will be disappointed with 5th though. They'd won 26 games in a row before the tournament and have an incredible record in the Euros. This was the 13th edition of the competition and they have won 7, come 2nd three times and 3rd once.


                        Real shame that Romania lost Cristina Neagu and that she didn't get to play in the semi and the 3rd place game. It was a huge blow and I think with her, they could have gone all the way.


                          Oh they definitely missed her but I think even with Neagu they wouldn't have gone on to win the thing. It looks like a bad injury as well which might keep her out for a while. In which case it may affect CSM București's Champions League chances.


                            Originally posted by Levin View Post
                            An excellent game and tournament. It was great that the final could go either way pretty much until the final minute.

                            I fell so sorry for Allison Pineau though. It was, by the strictest interpretation of the rules a red card but very harsh. The rule is the only one keepers have protecting them against getting hit in the face, and even then only on 7m throws.
                            I didn't actually see it as it was just after the break and I came back late for the 2nd half. Looking back at that 7-metre throw incident, it does look a tad harsh as the Russian goalie moved her head slightly. If the refs cannot establish for certain a violation, and I think that's the case here, the rules should allow for the taker to be given a 2-minute suspension. But Pineau is a very experienced player and should never have tried to place it there.


                              Oh I never, updated GDs European journey.

                              We went to Zaporizhia (or Zaporozhye) to play Donbas (or Donbass). It was an interesting weekend. GD got tonked but they were lovely hosts and even arranged tickets for a Champions League game where we saw Motor beat Celje. I'm just sorry we didn't have much time while we were there as I'd love to see more of the city (I didn't even get to see the Dnieper) in particular the"Zaporizhian Sich" which is a reconstructed Cossack fortress / town. On which note there doesn't seem to be much history just on the Cossacks beyond Osprey books for painting your Napoleonic period auxiliaries.

                              That isn't the reason for posting though. The Mens World Championship is on at the moment in Germany and Denmark. I've not followed it that much as the streaming hasn't been as readily available compared to the European competitions. However, FreeSportsUK have picked it up in the UK which means they're showing games on free to air (Freeview channel 64) and in the US Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA are showing games. I don't know how widespread access to US Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA is.

                              We're on to the Main Round now, two groups of 6 with top two in each group going to the semi finals. The preliminary round was 4 groups of 6 with the top three going through. Results against other qualifiers in the preliminary round carrying over to the Main Round.

                              The big stories so far have been; Brazil qualifying for the Main Round (beating Serbia, Russia and a combined Korean team), they also beat Croatia yesterday.
                              Bahrain and Qatar failing to qualify despite their use of nationality rules.
                              Tunisia and Egypt qualifying.
                              It does still mean 9/12 countries still in are European but it's been much more Eurocentric in the past.


                                Well this is, as described, ' a novelty'. The SEHA league, an international club competition for South East europe (and Belarus recently) will have a Chinese club take part. Traditionally only Japan and Korea (including a joint North and South and t at the last world's) have been part of the handball world in East Asia.

                                Last edited by Levin; 19-04-2019, 13:51.


                                  Sounds very much like Kunlun Red Stars' participation in the Canadian Women's (Ice) Hockey League.

                                  The league recently folded, at which time it was revealed that the Chinese were supplying 2/3 of its revenue.


                                    Oh that does sound similar. SEHA's big sponsor has always been Gazprom but it would make sense to diversify. The club's that have taken part until now have been champions League staples. To generalise, they're bankrolled by an individual and are the big fish in their domestic pond. Some clubs have won every domestic title since the 90s and I imagine have budgets that dwarf other teams from their country.

                                    What's in it for the Chinese organisations though?


                                      Building a team for Olympics and Worlds, primarily.

                                      This G&M article provides some detail.


                                        So, it's been a while. And I didn't mention last December's Women's world CHampionship at all which was won by the Netherlands and saw France go out in the preliminary round. But at the moment we have the Mens Euro 2020 happening in Norway, Sweden and um, Austria.

                                        The preliminary round is nearly over France are out. Which is a massive shock given the quality of players. It's also a bit of a worry for them given that it's an Olympic year. Portugal looked very good when they beat them. Iceland also managed a bit of a surprise win over Denmark, which leaves the Danes needing Iceland to beat Hungary while Denmark beat eliminated Russia and even then it will be down to goal difference.

                                        On tie breaker news, there is a chance today that there may be drawing of lots to decide group B today. There are two sets of results that will see lots being drawn.

                                        North Macedonia – Czech Republic (Draw Lots)
                                        MKD 31, Aut 30
                                        CZE 26, UKR 25

                                        Austria – Czech Republic (Draw Lots)
                                        MKD 28, AUT 24
                                        CZE 34, UKR 30

                                        From Team Handball News

                                        The format changed slightly this time around. Previous years had 16 entrants which meant that 3 from 4 terams in each preliminary group went through to the main round (two super six groups). This year has 24 countries competing with the same format so only the top two progress.

                                        Edit: and not to be completely eurocentric, the Men's Asian Championship will start this week in Kuwait. With 13 participants. Which makes the competition a little odd. The preliminary round has 3 groups of 3 and one of 4. Hong Kong and Iraq are there for the first time. And both Australia and New Zealand are part of the Asian confederation.

                                        The last time that two successive competitions had the same number of teams was 2004 and 2006 with 9.

                                        The African championship also throws off this week in Tunisia (who are also holders). The winners will probably be one of Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco or Angola.

                                        The South and Central American Championship and the Nor.Ca. Championships are also starting this month but I know nothing about them except that these are the first ones after the IHF forcibly split the Americas into two organisations.
                                        Last edited by Levin; 14-01-2020, 11:06.


                                          Denmark were out in the preliminary round. A bit of a surprise for the world champions. Current favourites are Norway but Portugal and Spain are looking good. As are Croatia, who came back from being 5 goals down to best Germany.

                                          Kenya forfeited their first round game against DR Congo and my French/Google Fu aren't good enough to discover why.

                                          Otherwise the African competition is going how you'd expect.

                                          In Kuwait, China were out without a win.


                                            Iceland v Portugal ať 1400 CET should be good. I think that's 8am for east coast USA.


                                              The Germans are quite depressed at their collapse against Croatia

                                              France's first round exit has meant that their nickname of the "Experts" has gone on hiatus.

                                              Perhaps Kenya has travel issues, as they have fulfilled their other fixtures (getting wiped out by Egypt, and losing handily to Guinea, they have a minus 44 goal difference)


                                                Well the German loss to Croatia didn't matter in the end as Croatia got a draw against Spain so would have gone through even if they had lost to Germany. Had Spain beaten Croatia then that German collapse would have cost them a semi final spot.

                                                Semi Finals today with favourites Norway playing Croatia at 1800 CET and Spain playing Slovenia at 2030 CET. All four teams have been playing good handball, Norway have won all their games so far and the only point dropped by Spain and Croatia was in the match they drew when Spain didn't need a result and a draw was all Croatia needed.

                                                The Asian Championship semi finals are tomorrow with Japan playing South Korea and Qatar playing Bahrain. Which could be interesting. But then again Iran was present and everything went smoothly in their games. Iran only missed out on a semi final spot on the 5th tie breaker after drawing with South Korea.

                                                Kenya played their two subsequent games but lost both of them. There were a few easy wins in the group stages but nothing properly embarrassing. There was another forfeit, by Zambia against Cameroon in the placement round, they have one more game to play, against Kenya in the 15th place game. Semi finals are today with the big four nations all taking part, Egypt playing Algeria and Tunisia against Angola.

                                                The European and African championships give a Olympics spot to the winner (unless Japan wins as they are hosting so 2nd place will get it). Asia had an Olympic qualifying tournament last November (won by Bahrain). Denmark are already going as they are World Champions. Argentina won the Pan-American qualifying tournament last year.

                                                So after this weekend there will be 6 spots left, to be assigned by tournaments in April. The entrants are determined by finishing positions in World and Continental Championships.

                                                The women's qualification for the Olympics follows the same pattern. So Japan (hosts), France (European Champions), Brazil (Pan-American Champs), South Korea (Asian Qualification), Angola (African Qualification) & Netherlands (World Champs) are all going.

                                                There are 3 qualifying tournaments for 6 slots (2 per group). First is Spain, Sweden, Argentina, Senegal. Second, Russia, Serbia, China, Hungary. Finally, Norway, Montenegro, Romania, Kazakhstan.

                                                Aren't Russia banned from the Olympics though at the moment?


                                                  Croatia winning 12-10 at half time. Both they and Norway have been good but Croatia have been excellent getting passes to the Croatian line.