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Date: 3/18/2014
 

After the Odesur Games in Santiago de Chile, the field of participants for the Pan-American Men’s Championship in Montevideo (qualification event for the 2015 World Championship in Qatar) has been completed and the South American participants of the Pan-Am Games 2015 have been confirmed. 
In both handball competitions (male and female) Brazil took the gold medal, while Argentina finished as unluckily beaten runners-up in both tournaments. 
The Odesur Games (South American Games) are the qualification event for the multi-sport Pan-Am Games 2015 to be held in Toronto. In terms of handball those Pan-Am Games are the qualification event for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games for men and women – and as Brazil are qualified as hosting nation of the Olympic Games, completely new opportunities will arise for the Pan-American handball teams. And: Without participating in the “regional games” like Odesur, no handball team can later qualify for the Olympic Games.

A total of 42 sports were part of the Odesur Games in Chile, which ended on 18 March. 
Surprisingly women’s handball World Champion Brazil were not as dominant as expected – and finished equal in points with Argentina after a thrilling 23:23 draw in the direct duel. Finally Brazil took the gold medal thanks to the better goal difference compared to the “Gauchinas”. The fight for the bronze medal – which meant the third spot for the 2015 Pan-Am Games in Toronto – was even more thrilling, as Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay were equal by 2 points – and in the internal ranking of this trio Chile had the best goal difference.

In the men’s competition of the Odesur Games seven teams took part – and Brazil and Argentina first clearly topped their groups and then even clearer won their semi-finals, as Argentina beat Uruguay 23:14 and Brazil defeated Chile 33:22. The dream final of the two powerhouses of Pan-American handball needed to be decided in extra-time after the first 60 minutes had ended by a 21:21. Finally Brazil gained the upper hand by a 25:23 win. Chile won the bronze medal after a 27:21 over Uruguay.

All three medallists clinched their berth to the Pan-Am Games 2015, and additionally to those three, the fifth-ranked team of Venezuela qualified for the Pan-American Championship in Montevideo in June, which will be the final qualification hurdle to Qatar Handball 2015. Uruguay had already been qualified as the host. The “Urus” can still hope for a participation in the Pan-Am Games, as they will face an opponent from North and Central America in a play-off match.  

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