TUNCoach: Mohamed Ali Sghir
Tunisia ensured their 12th-successive appearance at an IHF Men’s Junior World Championship when they finished second, to Egypt, in the round-robin 2018 CAHB African Men’s Junior Championship held in Morocco last September.
With six wins out of six in Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia went in into the final match of the championship knowing the winner would take the crown and with a three-goal half-time lead (15:12), Egypt put themselves in the driving seat at the break, powering on to an eight-goal victory (30:22) at the final buzzer.
Spain 2019 sees Tunisia in Preliminary Group A where they will face USA, Japan, Serbia, Slovenia and the host nation. They will be confident of progressing through and looking for another top 10 finish, after they secured seventh spot at the last edition of the tournament in Algeria where they beat Iceland in the eighth-finals before losing to Germany in the quarter-finals and then Hungary in their first match of the 5-8 Placement Round.
However, a 36:21 dominating win over Russia showed what Tunisia can be capable of against European opponents and the generation in Spain, who finished 11th at the 2017 IHF Men’s Youth World Championship, where they lost 35:25 in the eighth-finals to Portugal before eventually beating Korea in the 11/12 Placement Match 36:34 will be looking to get further victories against European and Asian sides as they look to get close to their most impressive ranking in a Junior World Championship to date – a bronze medal in 2011 in Greece.
But that will take some effort as Greece 2011 will always be remembered in Tunisian handball as a golden generation of players which included Oussama Boughanmi, Amine Bannour, Aymen Toumi and Wael Jallouz (and many others) who fought all the way to a third place under the leadership of French coach Alain Portes.
Key Players: Mohamed Amine Darmoul (centre back), Mohamed Mdimegh (left wing)
Qualification information: 2018 CAHB African Men’s Junior Championship – 2nd place
History in tournament: 1977-1995: DNQ, 1997: 8th, 1999: 9th, 2001: 18th, 2003: 9th, 2005: 17th, 2007: 17th, 2009: 21st, 2011: 3rd, 2013: 15th, 2015: 12th, 2017: 7th
Group at Spain 2019: Group A (USA, Japan, Tunisia, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain)