14 Apr. 2022
Argentina’s women and Brazil’s men have won their respective competitions at the second edition of the South and Central America Handball Confederation Men’s and Women’s Beach Handball Championships in Brazil.
As expected, both finals were between the two neighbouring nations and familiar foes, but ultimately, the Argentina women have toppled their familiar foes thanks to a blend of youth and experience.
They won the women’s final 11:10 via shoot-out following a tight 17:16 second set win after Brazil had taken a five-point first set.
The result means they have not only qualified for the 2022 IHF Women’s Beach Handball World Championship in Greece this June, but for The World Games in the USA in July as well.
It is a long time coming, but in recent months, there has been a turn towards the Argentina women on sand within the continent, with their youth side defeating Brazil at the SCAHC Youth Beach Handball Championship in Buenos Aires.
“It is a dream come true,” said Argentina’s Gisela Bonomi, who was voted into the championship All-star Team and who won gold with the youth team at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018.
“All the work we have been doing during all this preparation time, without a doubt we are super happy to have achieved the goal. The truth is that this is super important for the sport, beating Brazil again shows the great work we have been doing over the years.”
In the preliminary group stage, Brazil finished top of their group, winning all five of their games and dropping just one set, against Argentina. Uruguay finished in second (8 points), ahead of Argentina (6) and Chile (4) to go through to the last four. Paraguay’s defeat of Ecuador on the opening match day ensured they recorded a fifth-place finish in the group ahead of their opponents.
While it was no surprise Brazil’s men won their championship, dropping just two sets – against the new threat of Ecuador and old rivals Argentina in the preliminary – their final 2-0 (23:20, 18:17) win over Argentina was dominant.
As reigning world champions, Brazil’s men had already qualified for the World Championship and The World Games, with their The World Games place moving down to Argentina, the runners-up.
“The team is very happy with what we achieved in this competition, it has been a long time since we reached a final, so we are happy and we were also able to achieve the classifications we came for,” said Argentina’s Alejo Novillo, who was also voted into the All-star Team and who won bronze with Argentina at Buenos Aires 2018.
Brazil had topped the group phase, with five wins out of their five matches, losing those two sets to Argentina and Ecuador. Three sides all had six points each, with Argentina finishing ahead of Uruguay and Ecuador thanks to a better goal difference. Argentina also had a better set difference than Ecuador.
Those four went directly into the semi-finals, with Chile finishing in fifth thanks to a solitary win over sixth-placed Paraguay, who lost all five of their games. Paraguay got revenge in the 5/6 placement match with a shoot-out win over the Chile side.
^Already qualified for the 2022 IHF Men’s Beach Handball World Championship and The World Games 2022
*Qualified for the 2022 IHF Men’s Beach Handball World Championship
** Qualified for the 2022 IHF Men’s Beach Handball World Championship and The World Games 2022
Marcelo Tuller, Gil Pires, Bruno Carlos Oliveira (all Brazil), Alejo Novillo, Nahuel Batista (both Argentina).
Top scorer: Carlos Llanes (Paraguay) – 86 points
Most Valuable Player: Andre Simoes (Brazil)
*Qualified for the 2022 IHF Women’s Beach Handball World Championship
** Qualified for the 2022 IHF Women’s Beach Handball World Championship and The World Games 2022
Ingrid Frazao, Jessica Barros, Nathalie Sousa, Milena dos Anjos (all Brazil), Agustina Mirotta, Gisella Bonomi (both Argentina).
Top scorer: Maria Garcia (Uruguay) – 86 points
Most Valuable Player: Agustina Mirotta (Argentina)
Photos courtesy of South and Central American Handball Confederation