Returning Germany the team to beat in Alabama

11 Jul. 2022

Returning Germany the team to beat in Alabama

The World Games are finally here again.

It has been five long years since the last edition in Poland back in 2017, but the athletes have finished their preparations and are ready to take to the sand in Birmingham as The World Games 2022 are finally here.

The women’s competition gets beach handball underway at the global multi-sport event in Alabama, USA but it will be missing one big team, Brazil.

With three gold and two bronze medals in all the five previous editions of the Games, the South Americans would have been one of the favourites in the USA, but their dreams came crashing down when they lost to Argentina in the South and Central American Championship earlier this year. 

It was the first time Brazil had lost to their neighbours but it also marked the continued rise of the Argentineans. 

They have fond memories of The World Games 2017, winning silver in their debut appearance. This came a year before their youth team won 2018 Youth Olympic Games gold.

Argentina are the highest-ranked of the three teams in Alabama who competed in Wroclaw, along with Norway (who finished fourth) and Oceania champions Australia (seventh) – and also the highest-ranked of the three teams who took part in the ANOC World Beach Games in 2019 and are in the USA too, with the South Americans finishing sixth, along with the USA and Australia (10th and 11th).

This is partly due to the tight qualification for The World Games, with just eight teams competing, but also because Birmingham features just six teams after Denmark had their flights cancelled and were unable to secure a replacement flight in time, and Vietnam were unable to secure visas.

A change in competition format resulted, with all six teams playing each other in a round-robin format and the top four teams going straight through to the semi-finals.

Despite the pedigree of Argentina, the team to beat on the USA sand will be Germany, who are returning to The World Games for the first time since their hosting of the event back in Duisburg in 2005.

Fresh off a perfect 2022 IHF Women’s Beach Handball World Championship title, where they won all nine of their games 2-0 in Heraklion, Greece, the Germans are also European champions, having won all their continental games last year, dropping just two periods. In their 18 games across both the championships, these were the only periods lost.

Six games open the proceedings in the women’s competition at the historic Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, starting with a pair of matches featuring four continental champions.

At 09:30 local time, Germany will play North America and the Caribbean champions Mexico, while Argentina will play Oceania champions Australia.

The USA then get their home event underway against a Norway team who had a disappointing World Championship, where they finished in their lowest-ever rank (11th) but who have made considerable changes to their squad in Greece, including replacing two goalkeepers.

The afternoon session will feature Argentina taking on Germany, the USA playing Australia and Mexico facing Norway.

Some of the clashes are rematches from Greece with Australia losing against both Argentina (0-2, 8:26, 14:16) in the preliminary round and the USA (1-2, 20:22, 16:10, SO 10:11) in the main round. Germany defeated Argentina 2-0 (18:16, 19:15) in the main round.

Fans will be treated to two Greece 2022 All-star Team members in action today as best right wing Amelie Möllmann (Germany) and top scorer Christine Mansour (USA) will be hoping their form continues in North America.