18 Mar. 2022
Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay will line up with hosts Argentina as they take part in the inaugural South and Central America Handball Confederation (SCAHC) Women’s Junior Championship in Buenos Aires next week (22 to 26 March).
The teams that finish in the top two positions in Argentina will also book their tickets for the 2022 IHF Women’s Junior (U20) World Championship, to be held in Slovenia from 22 June to 3 July.
The SCAHC Women’s Junior Championship will be played at Argentina’s ‘National Centre of High Performance Athletics’, known as ‘CeNARD’ (or Centro Nacional de Alto Rendimiento Deportivo in Spanish) and is part of what is being billed as a ‘Festival of Americas Handball’, with the SCAHC Men’s and Women’s Youth Beach Handball Championship taking place at the same venue from 23 to 25 March.
The home nation, coached by Hernán Siso, will be one of the favourites to take the title with Siso’s squad of 16 featuring five players who won gold at the Junior Pan America Games in Colombia last October, beating Brazil in the semi-final (23:21) and Paraguay (27:24) in the final.
The defeat of Brazil in the last four was Argentina’s first victory in 11 years against a Brazil women’s national team at youth, junior or senior level. Their squad for the SCAHC championships features seven players from the SEDALO club, while backcourt player Berenice Frelier is the sole player from outside of South America, playing her club handball for Benidorm in Spain.
They can also boast senior experience with Delfina Ojea, who was called up by senior coach Eduardo Gallardo for the 25th IHF Women’s World Championship in Spain last December.
All of Argentina’s games will be played live on DeporTV, but hoping to upset them will be a host of other teams, led by Brazil.
Coach Cristiano Rocha has been working hard with their squad at the Handball Centre of Excellence (Centro de Excelencia Esportiva de Handebol) in Sao Bernando do Campo, preparing for the championship.
The squad were joined by six players who have recently transitioned from the junior side to the senior team in the camp, with the entire technical commission of the senior side also in the camp overseeing the preparation. All players on the long list of 22 players named for the championship are based in Brazil, with the exception of the Portugal-based Nathalia Soares, who plays for Baliana Maiastars.
Uruguay are also well underway with their preparations with coach Leonardo Puñales calling his squad together for the first time on 2 February, while Chile are already in Buenos Aires and have played two friendlies against Argentina as a warm up.
Teams: Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay
Format: Teams will play each other in a round-robin, league format
For more information on the event, click here.