South American derby highlight of opening main round day
23 Jun. 2022
A total of 16 matches in the women’s competition take place today.
The women’s main round throws-off in the early morning with a cracker – a repeat of the European Championship quarter-final from last year: Spain vs Portugal.
The neighbouring teams met a year ago in Bulgaria with the Spanish side coming out top in a comprehensive 2-0 (23:16, 24:16) victory.
However, in Heraklion, and despite Portugal appearing in their debut World Championship and Spain 2016 winners of the event, the two teams are on an equal footing, both bringing two points into the main round from their preliminary round encounters.
Also playing in the early morning are Thailand and Denmark, with the remaining two teams in the group, Greece and the USA playing at 13:10 due to television coverage.
The host nation were shaky very early on in their opener but have since shown their quality and sit with Denmark on four points each already and with almost a foot in the quarter-finals already.
Greece are strong in both defence and attack, Ntafina Dimitri leading the assists for in-flight goals clearly (15, five per game), while Magdalini Kepesidou is far out in front at Greece 2022, making an unbelievable 9.3 saves per match (28 saves/83 shots) to enter the main round with a 34% save rate.
The final game of the day is a repeat of Greece’s Beach Handball World Championship debut – a test against Spain, who the Greece women faced in their Kazan 2018 opener as then world champions and they took them to a shoot-out, eventually losing.
Now Greece are in that position.
Denmark meanwhile are quietly going about their business. The 2019 ANOC World Beach Games champions top the goalscoring charts with 150 points scored in their three games so far, led by the influential Line Gyldenlove Kristensen, who has now surpassed 100 games for her country and who sits top of the Greece 2022 scoring charts on 59 points (19.67 per match).
In group II, European champions Germany, alongside Netherlands hold four points at the top and will be a tough challenge for anyone who faces them. Germany have conceded the fewest points at Greece 2022 so far (83 in three games, 27 per match), while Anna Buter is the championships’ second top scorer. She has shot 52 points for the Netherlands.
Norway, who beat Netherlands 2-1 in the European Championship, last year sit on zero points with Brazil and Argentina on two points each and their 09:50 EEST clash on court 2 is going to be a highlight.
Earlier this year, Argentina shocked their neighbours with victory over them on the sand for the first time at the South and Central America championship.
As a late replacement team Hungary had little preparation time for Greece 2022 and find themselves in unchartered territory – the consolation round alongside Australia, Mexico and Vietnam.