“Everything has to be perfect” - two new beach handball events revealed as Masi evaluates Greece 2022
20 Jun. 2022
Today is a rest day between the end of the 2022 IHF Men’s and Women’s Youth Beach Handball World Championships which finished yesterday (Sunday 19 June) and the beginning of the 2022 IHF Men’s and Women’s Beach Handball Championships which start tomorrow (Tuesday 21 June).
To celebrate the championships, a special media conference was held with a number of dignitaries attending.
Giampiero Masi, Chairman of the Beach Handball Working Group was one such dignitary.
In his own words…
This is our first international competition which has taken place since covid-19, with the last one the 2019 ANOC World Beach Games in Doha.
For the first time the youth and senior world championships will be hosted in a row. It was a real challenge and without the help of the cooperation among all the people involved in the competition, it would have been impossible to organise.
It's important for me to underline the cooperation with the Hellenic (Greek) Handball Federation and the support of all of the national and local authorities, you gave your best for organising the championship.
Both championships are really important, they will increase the image of beach handball worldwide and you are doing a fantastic job as are the players. To organise two championships in a row also meant the younger players could see their idols training during the day and the seniors could see the next generation.
You have seen on court, that they are playing under our first rule, Fair Play. All the matches were played under these rules and we are really happy about that.
And it’s a really high number of matches because we’ve played 144 games already and will be playing 288 games in 12 days in total.
I would also like to say it is an honour for all of us to have had both the youth teams of Ukraine here.
Now we are halfway through our job, and we have to continue with the senior championships now which has higher pressure in competition than the youth.
It’s an honour for all of us but everything has to be perfect if we want to show the world our best.
A global sport heading towards Los Angeles 2028 and stopping at Paris 2024 en route
We have to show the best because we are in the process to become an official Olympic sport in 2028. We are going to showcase our sport ahead of Paris 2024 and we are now ready to be received, we hope, as an official sport for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games.
Here in Greece we have 64 teams representing all six continents of the IHF. We are a global sport. Around the world we have more than 150 national federations playing beach handball now and just this past week here in the youth championships we saw the first-ever world championship participation of India, Puerto Rico, Romania, Jordan and Czech Republic.
Yesterday you saw the medal matches in the men's and women’s championships. In the men’s competition, we had three continents in the medals: Europe with Croatia, Brazil for South America and Iran from Asia.
There is something behind these medals and it’s the job of all the continents to improve our sport.
International Beach Handball Day and the Beach Handball Global Tour announced
After the championship our challenge is not over. In a few days we move from Greece to Poland for the first stage of the new project of the International Handball Federation, the Beach Handball Global Tour.
In two weeks we go to the United States for The World Games and then at the end of July we have the second stage of the Beach Handball Global Tour, in Spain.
I also have the pleasure to announce in front of you that today, 20 June 2022, is the first ‘International Beach Handball Day’.
It has been 30 years since 20 June 1992 that the very first organised, rules-based beach handball game was played on the island of Ponza in Italy.
To celebrate that we are introducing 20 June as International Beach Handball Day every year and tomorrow, at the opening ceremony, we will reveal the logo with a special 30th anniversary element.
It’s really an honour for me because I was involved in that first match 30 years ago and now we are going to celebrate it here.
Photo: Stefanos Rapanis / Hellenic Handball Federation