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2019 Men’s World Championship 2019 Men’s World Championship
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Date: 5/30/2018

Sydney University Handball Club continued their dominance within Oceania as they claimed their seventh continental title at the Australian Open Club Championship on Sunday in Geelong, Victoria. The team thereby qualified for their seventh IHF Super Globe, to be held in Qatar in October, when they defeated city rivals University of Technology Sydney (UTS) 30:14 in the final.


The bronze medal in the men’s event went to Brisbane-based UQ Handball, who beat Victorian side St Kilda 24:23 in the nail-biting 3/4 placement match.


As they were in 2017, Sydney Uni were undefeated throughout their campaign in Corio Leisuretime Centre. They opened the group phase with a 33:20 win against Handball West, defeated UTS HC 2 with a 38:19 result, and beat St Kilda 23:16. In the semi-final, they overcame UQ Handball 24:15, while their opponents in the final, UTS, beat St Kilda in the penultimate match.


“The tournament was very well organised and I noticed a marked improvement in the quality of teams. There are some exciting young players in all of the teams,” said Sydney Uni co-coach (alongside Lionel Puyhardy) Taip Ramadani, who is also head coach of the Kosovo national team. “It's important for the young handball players in Australia to be exposed to more regular competition of this level throughout the year, as I am convinced this is the only way for them to develop their talent.


“The standout aspect was the passion with which the game was played. It was great to be part of this.”


After New Caledonia’s AS Dumbea raised the trophy in 2017, a new team claimed the women’s title this year. Local side Melbourne HC were the side to celebrate after an 18:13 victory against UQ Handball in the final, following a campaign that included only wins.


“I think our performance was fairly impressive considering that UQ haven’t brought a women’s team to the AOCC before. We had a major player have an injury in the second game, and throughout the game we had multiple injuries,” said UQ coach Todd Morschel. “I’m pretty happy – unfortunately we couldn’t get the result, but overall a pretty impressive weekend for UQ.”


The bronze-medal match saw Handball West defeat New Caledonian team JS Mont Dore 25:13 to take the last available medal in the women’s competition.


The top scorers of the weekend were Renata Rusmir and Fabien Guillard, who scored 34 goals each in the women’s and men’s competitions, respectively.


Photos: Handball VIC