Excellent Croatia seal title at the 20th Men’s Mediterranean Championship (Under-16)

15 May. 2024

Excellent Croatia seal title at the 20th Men’s Mediterranean Championship (Under-16)

Eight teams from three continents lined up at the start of the 20th Men’s Mediterranean Championship (Under-16), which took place in Ankara between 6 and 11 May.

Hosts Türkiye were joined by five European sides - Romania, Croatia, France, Montenegro and Kosovo – as well as an African team in Tunisia and an Asian team in Iraq, all vying for the trophy in the competition which had scheduled a preliminary round, played in a round-robin format, and knockout matches in the last day.

After all sides played seven times, Romania were the top team, with a single loss, 24:25 against Croatia, which was the second-placed side, which had also lost a single match, their opener against hosts Türkiye, 23:24. That meant that the final was going to be played between Romania and Croatia, with Croatia having half a point in the standings more than France.

That gap was due to the fact that in the 20th Men’s Mediterranean Championship (Under-16), there were three periods of 15 minutes each, with each period having a 0.5 points reward in the standings.

On the other hand, Türkiye finished fourth, behind France, after losing against both Romania and France in the preliminary round, both teams heading to the bronze medal match.

In the final day, the final was a straightforward process, as Croatia duly delivered an outstanding performance, leading by eight goals after 15 minutes, 14:6, as David Bajan was absolutely unstoppable, scoring nine goals.

The gap was improved after the next 15 minutes, with Croatia taking a 11:9 win in the second part of the match, while Romania bounced back, with five goals from Răzvan Buzu, but it was too little, too late, as Croatia took a clear 35:26 win at the end.

Backed by six goals from Varin Mayrom, France took a clear 25:16 win over hosts Türkiye to secure the bronze medal match, while Montenegro finished fifth, with a 16:15 win over Kosovo.

Iraq ended up on the seventh place, thanks to a 24:23 win over Tunisia, which finished last in the final standings.

All-Star team - 20th Men’s Mediterranean Championship (Under-16)

Goalkeeper: Răzvan Rîpă (Romania)
Right wing: Varin Mayrom (France)
Right back: Josip Radman (Croatia)
Centre back: Strahinja Gurijicic (Montenegro)
Left back: Sadik Emre Herseklioglu (Türkiye)
Left wing: Hasan Kenan Onel (Türkiye)
Line player: Andrei Florin Negrilă (Romania)