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Date: 5/15/2018
 

The draw for the 2018 IHF Men’s and Women’s Beach Handball World Championships in Kazan, Russia took place earlier today in the Press Centre of the Palace for Water Sports and Aquatics, next to the courts which will host the global event from 24-29 July.

 

The event also saw the tournament website launched.

 

The Chairman of the IHF Beach Handball Working Group, Giampiero Masi conducted the draw, assisted by Khalil Shaikhutdinov (First Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Tatarstan), Ranko Tepavcevic (Deputy Director General, Kazan Directorate for Sports and Social Projects), Elena Korneeva (Head of International Relations, Handball Federation of Russia) and Alina Antipova (Event Manager, Handball Federation of Russia).

 

“On behalf of the Handball Federation of Russia and the Tatarstan Handball Federation I welcome you to Kazan,” said Shaikhutdinov as he opened the draw. “This Beach Handball World Championship will be held directly after the FIFA World Cup, so the venues are already ready. Kazan citizens are lucky people as they can see lots of events in Kazan.

 

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the IHF for giving us their trust to hold this event and we will do our best.”

 

Ranko Tepavcevic also had a good luck message to the athletes present at the draw and those watching live on the IHF Facebook stream. “We will do our best to prepare to a high level and provide the best for all athletes,” he said. “I wish all the best for the athletes and for those handball players here [and watching] I would like to think that you will be able to take part in future handball events in Kazan.”


“We would also like to thank the Ministry of Sport for their high level of support and cooperation,” added Korneeva. “We are sure that together we will make it a memorable event for players and fans- our goal is to make a top-level beach handball festival.”

 

In a first for an IHF Beach Handball World Championship, both the men’s and women’s tournaments feature 16 teams each and the draw saw four pots of four teams each drawn into four preliminary groups of four teams each. As host nation, Russia had the right to choose which group they competed in.

 

Women’s Draw

The women’s draw took place first with 2016 IHF Women’s Beach Handball World Champions Spain first out of the bowl and debutants, Greece drawn with the last ball.

 

Russia elected to join Group C alongside record champions Brazil, Thailand and another debutant, USA, who were awarded a wildcard for Kazan.

 

Kazan 2018 Women’s Draw Result

 

Group A: ESP, AUS, GRE, PAR

Group B: POL, URU, FRA, TPE

Group C: BRA, THA, RUS, USA

Group D: NOR, DEN, VIE, MEX

 

Men’s Draw

In the men’s competition Spain were also first out of the bowl, drawn into Group B, which would later add debutants New Zealand and Vietnam. Iran, in their second tournament, were the final team to be drawn as they joined Group A alongside 2016 title holders Croatia.

 

Russia chose to enter Group D where they will face Brazil, USA and debutants Sweden.

 

Kazan 2018 Men’s Draw Result

 

Group A: CRO, IRI, URU, ARG

Group B: ESP, HUN, VIE, NZL

Group C: QAT, OMA, AUS, DEN

Group D: BRA, RUS, USA, SWE

 

“For the first time in my life I don’t know who the winner could be,” said Masi after the draw. “All the groups are really strong – I look forward to seeing you all in July. I wish to thank all the people working for this edition of this event – I was here three months ago and then it was just a feeling, but now it is confirmation that together we will host a fantastic championship.”

 

After the draw IHF.info spoke with some of those involved in the competition.

 

“We are happy that Russia choose to be in our group as it means we will have a strong group, fighting against the home team,” said Brazilian women’s coach Marcio Magliano. “I believe all the groups are balanced and that it will be a great championship.

 

“We just played against USA in the Pan-American Championships and they did really well,” said Magliano about their Group C opponents. “The USA are a great team which has been improving their game a lot. Thailand are always in World Championships and they sure know how to play too.”

 

Norwegian player Martine Welfler watched the draw live and can already feel the excitement coming from Kazan. “I think our group is very exciting,” said the player who scored 44 spin shots at Budapest 2016 as she helped guide her Norway team to bronze.

 

“I know that Denmark are a good team, but I have never seen Mexico or Vietnam play, so I have no idea what to expect, however we will now study them,” continued Welfler about Group D. “One thing is for sure though – and that is that we will approach all the teams very seriously, prepare well, fight and have to be at our best to beat them.”

 

“Ours is a strong group,” said Australian player Daniela Borelli Dos Santos about Group A where her side are drawn against Paraguay, Greece and 2016 title holders Spain.

 

“Spain were bronze medallists in the last World Games (2017) and we have a fresh challenge with Paraguay and Greece who have not been to a World Championship yet.

 

“Both of them will be a challenge as they have earnt their right to play in Kazan through a tough continental qualification process, but we will play our best and make sure we leave a mark this year.”

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