HungaryCoach: Zoltán Pinizsi
Hungary, along with Argentina, look to be one of the favourites for the 2022 IHF Women’s Youth Beach Handball World Championship title, with a stacked history of medals in such a short space of time since the discipline opened up to the younger-age categories at international championship level.
The Hungarian women come to Heraklion as title-holders of the World Championship, having won the debut edition in Mauritius back in 2017. Hungary beat then European champions Netherlands via a shoot-out (7:4) to take gold.
They are now European champions themselves, having recorded eight-straight wins on the Varna beaches in Bulgaria last July.
Three 2-0 wins against Croatia, France and Slovenia ensured they topped their preliminary group with maximum points. The main round saw them record a further three wins, with 2-0 wins against Russia and Ukraine, although Germany did hand Hungary their first lost set, but lost overall as the Hungarian team beat them in a shoot-out.
Two further shoot-outs would see Hungary claim gold, defeating Spain and, again Netherlands in a final – Hungary had also seen off Netherlands for bronze at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
With 123 points in Bulgaria, 15 clear of second place, the dangerous Dorottya Zentai is a potent threat for Zoltán Pinizsi’s side in Crete. The specialist has now recorded 204 points in her 16 appearances on the sand for her national side.
Greece 2022 represents another opportunity for the young women’s squad to enforce Hungary’s claim as one of the most dominant European forces in the sport across all age ranges and both genders.
“Our youth team is coming to the IHF World Championships as World and European Championship title holder,” said Tamás Neukum, sports director of beach handball at the Hungarian Handball Federation and coach of the senior women’s side.
“We won the first World Championship, so now we also want to finish as high in the ranking as possible and gain respect for the Hungarian national team. We hope that these youth players will soon be able to debut in the adult team as well.”
Key players: Dorottya Zentai, Kitti Kreutz
Qualification information: Women’s 17 EHF Beach Handball EURO 2021 – 1st place
History in tournament: 2017: 1st
Group at Greece 2022: Group A (Hungary, Thailand, Poland, Uruguay)