04 May. 2022
In what is set to be a spectacular year for beach handball, with the IHF Senior and Youth World Championships, plus The World Games taking place later this year, the high-profile Jarun Cup in Croatia took place this past weekend in Zagreb.
One of the key stops on the 2021/22 European Beach Tour (ebt), the Jarun Cup featured men’s and women’s competitions, plus a variety of younger-age category events.
In the men’s competition, 12 teams took to the sand at Jarun Lake, including teams representing Sweden and Slovenia, but it was local side and the strong regional powerhouse BHC Zagreb who took the title.
They won all five of their preliminary group games without dropping a set, then dispatched SC Buda 2-0 in the quarter-final. While Sweden did take them to a shoot-out in the semi-finals, any team led by Croatia’s beach handball G.O.A.T. Ivan Juric will always be hard to beat, and with help from fellow Croatian international Josip Leko and the impressive Vigo Konforta – who scored a whopping 27 points in the clash – the host club took a 9:6 shoot-out win to seal their path through to the final.
Juric delivered in a hard-fought final against BHC Harena, scoring 19, but it was not enough for the direct win as two tight sets were split. First, in favour of Zagreb (26:25) thanks to Juric opening up a three-point lead with just moments remaining but his solitary point was not enough at the death in the second, with Bruno Sudarevic snatching the set for Harena thanks to an in-flight (22:21), to take the final to a shoot-out.
After Harena missed their third attempt in the shoot-out, Leko sunk home to open up a four-point, unassailable lead with Harena seeing their fifth attempt saved by Ivan Jugovic.
Victor Paldanius top-scored in the competition with 123 points from his eight matches with Sweden.
In the women’s competition, Westsite Amsterdam took the title, being taken to shoot-outs in the quarter-final, semi-final – where they beat Hungarian side TT Sport Multichem Szentendre NKE who featured a number of Hungary internationals – and final, where they met BHC Dubrava.
Westsite had won all five of their preliminary group games, while Dubrava had won four of theirs.
While the first two sets in the final were split by just one point each, Dubrava winning the first one 27:26 and Amsterdam winning the second 18:17, the shoot-out was one-sided, with Krista Mol saving two shots for the Dutch team to seal a 7:2 victory and with it, the title. Lucija Kelava, from BHT Ideja, topped the scoring in the women’s competition with 111 points from her eight matches.
The results mean that BHC Zagreb currently top the ebt rankings with 456 points collected in their two tournaments so far – 407 from winning the Jarun Cup and 170 from finishing fourth in Prague, Harena lie just 10 points behind them (397) in second place.
It is exactly the same in the women’s rankings, with Amsterdam top (407) followed by Dubrava (397). Special mention must go to the British team of London GD, who currently lie in fifth on 356 points and who are enjoying their best season in the ebt, points-wise, after being regulars on the circuit in recent years.
About the ebt 2021/22
The ebt this season had been due to start with the first winter event held in Netherlands (December), but it was subsequently called off due to COVID-19 measures in place.
Eventually, at the end of January, the ebt did commence with the Winter Prague Open Beach Handball event and the season will conclude with the ebt Finals in June 2022.
A further 30 tournaments are currently in the ebt calendar up until August.
More information on the ebt 2021/22 season is available here.
European Handball Federation awards beach events
Last Thursday, the EHF Executive Committee met in Ljubljana, Slovenia and awarded the EHF Beach Handball EURO 2023 to Portugal.
The event will take place in Nazaré and is scheduled from 23 to 28 May 2023. It will act as qualification event for the 2023 European Games.
Izmir, Turkey was awarded the EHF YAC17 Beach Handball EURO 2023, scheduled from 29 June to 2 July, while the EHF Beach Handball Champions Cup 2022 will be played in Porto Santo, Portugal in October.
In March, the EHF awarded the 2022 YAC 16 EHF Beach Handball EURO as well as the 2022 Beach Handball Championships to Prague, Czech Republic. They will be played from 7 to 10 July 2022.
Photo: Pawel Jakubowski Photography