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Date: 11/1/2017

The Copa Caribe, or Caribbean Cup, took place in Cartagena, Colombia last week (24-29 October) featuring six countries from the region Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Venezuela and hosts Colombia as they made some of their first steps in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games cycle of events.


All six nations were represented in both the mens and womens competitions which took place in a six-team group format in each competition over a punishing schedule of six-straight matchdays. The playing schedule changed after the original two-group format for each competition was adapted following Trinidad and Tobago and Haiti not able to send teams to the final tournament.


Teams were not only competing for regional bragging rights, but for a spot at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games to be held in Barranquilla, Colombia. The tournament also acted as preparation for some teams who will participate in the forthcoming Bolivarian Games, which will be held in Santa Marta also in Colombia later this month, from 11-25 November.


Copa Caribe Womens Competition

Mexico topped the preliminary round table with nine points from their five matches, remaining unbeaten, but were held by Venezuela in their final match 28:28.


Puerto Rico finished in second place with six points, thanks to three wins out of their five matches while Cuba finished in third, tied on five points with Dominican Republic and Venezuela, but with the better goal difference. Unfortunately, hosts Colombia lost all five of their games clearly to finish bottom.


The results meant that Mexico faced Puerto Rico in the final, and they led by two at the break (12:10), before extending their lead at the final buzzer to five (25:20). Dominican Republic managed to overturn a half-time deficit of one (16:15), to come back strong and win a tight match 28:27 against Cuba. Venezuela beat Colombia for the second time in the competition, to finish fifth.


Copa Caribe Mens Competition

The host nations mens side did slightly better than their womens side in the preliminary round, thanks to a draw against Dominican Republic, but they still finished last in their group on a solitary point, nine behind group winners Cuba, who won all five of their games. Puerto Rico finished in second place on seven points, one ahead of third-placed Mexico.


One of the stories of the tournament and highlighting the tight nature of handball games saw fourth-placed Dominican Republic end with a near equal goal difference (136 scored, 139 conceded) after they drew three of their five preliminary round matches, losing to Mexico by just one goal (32:31) and Cuba by two (33:31).


After all the preliminary round results were known Puerto Rico faced Cuba in the final and it appeared all over after the first half as the Cubans led 15:11. But Puerto Rico stepped up their performance and took the match 32:30. The Dominican Republic men managed to copy their womens team as they came back, from 14:12 down at the break against Mexico, to win 28:27. Colombia gave the home fans something to shout about as they finally won, beating Venezuela 32:28 to take fifth.


Puerto Rico saw both of their teams qualify for Barranquilla 2018 in addition to the Cuban men and Mexican women.


The tournament concluded with a coaches workshop attended by a number of national and club coaches on the final weekend.





1. Puerto Rico

2. Cuba

3. Dominican Republic

4. Mexico

5. Colombia

6. Venezuela



1. Mexico

2. Puerto Rico

3. Dominican Republic

4. Cuba

5. Venezuela

6. Colombia






Tuesday 24 October



PUR vs MEX       23:27

COL vs CUB        23:36

DOM vs VEN      18:21



PUR vs MEX       29:33

CUB vs VEN        36:22

DOM vs COL      22:22


Wednesday 25 October



VEN vs PUR        21:29

MEX vs CUB       31:25

COL vs DOM      24:35



MEX vs DOM     32:31

COL vs CUB        21:35

VEN vs PUR        29:30


Thursday 26 October



CUB vs VEN        32:23

DOM vs PUR      28:22

COL vs MEX        22:32



DOM vs VEN      27:27

COL vs MEX        19:29

CUB vs PUR        32:17


Friday 27 October



PUR vs CUB        27:26

DOM vs MEX     21:33

VEN vs COL        31:22



CUB vs MEX       30:27

VEN vs COL        27:19

PUR vs DOM      25:25


Saturday 28 October



MEX vs VEN       28:28

CUB vs DOM      29 :29

PUR vs COL        28:14



MEX vs VEN       35:33

PUR vs COL        35:26

DOM vs CUB      31:33




Sunday 29 October



FINAL: MEX vs PUR 25:20 (12:10)

3/4 PLACE: CUB vs DOM 27:28 (16:15)

5/6 PLACE: VEN vs COL 27:21 (12:9)



FINAL: CUB vs PUR 30:32 (15:11)

3/4 PLACE: DOM vs MEX 28:27 (12:14)

5/6 PLACE: VEN vs COL 28:32 (13:20)


For further information on the Copa Caribe 2017 visit HERE.


To watch videos of all matches, visit the Colombian Handball Federation YouTube channel HERE.