Beach handball teams take two 4th places at EUC in Málaga
- Datum: 06.10.2023
On 19.09.2023, the Karlsruhe delegation set off for Torrox, Spain, the venue for this year's European Universities Championship in Beach Handball. After stopovers in Stuttgart, Zurich and Málaga, the 20 athletes finally arrived at the hotel around midnight after a 9:30-hour journey.
And so the first day began: Mascot Pferdinand unpacked, breakfast, accreditation, morning yoga, beach break, training, general technical meeting, group draw and opening ceremony. The Karlsruhe women's team was to face Zagreb (Croatia), Marseille (France) and Bergen (Norway), the men's team Bergen (Norway), Lisbon (Portugal), Sumy (Ukraine) and Zagreb (Croatia).
The men's team showed a clear improvement on last year's EUG in Lodz, Poland, with three commanding 2:0 victories against Bergen, Lisbon and Sumy on the first day of the tournament to secure their place in the semi-finals.
The women had a little more trouble at the start. Despite an outstanding goalkeeping performance, they were beaten 0:2 by the team from Zagreb in their first group match. Afterwards, however, they managed to recover and beat Marseille 2:1 in a thrilling shoot-out.
Day 2 of the tournament promised the men's match for group victory against the University of Zagreb, which was lost 2-0. This resulted in a semi-final against the top favorites from Málaga (Spain). The team, coached by the Spanish national coach and featuring several national players, gave the Karlsruhe beach handball players no chance and sent the team into the match for third place with a clear 0:2.
The women's team beat Bergen 2:0 in the morning with their best performance of the tournament to date, thus also securing a place in the semi-finals. In the following semi-final against the team from Budapest (Hungary), the team suffered a clear 0:2 defeat, but nevertheless showed an enormously improved performance.
The third day of the tournament thus brought two matches for bronze. The men kicked things off and first had to play the team from the University of Bordeaux (France). Unfortunately, the team from Karlsruhe was narrowly defeated in both sets and had to settle for 4th place.
In the match for third place, the women had to play the team from Zagreb again, against whom they had already played their first group match. Although they performed much better, they again failed to find enough solutions against the strong Croatian defense, meaning that WG Karlsruhe had to return home with two ungrateful 4th places.
But there were still prizes in the end! The women took home the Fair Play Award and Johanna Wiethoff was also named best goalkeeper of the tournament.
Nevertheless, they still managed to exceed their own target of two 5th places. As these teams had never played together before, these are great performances and the progress made by the women's team in particular became clear over the course of the tournament. In addition, the exchange with the other teams from the European nations was once again great!