08 Apr. 2021
The Handball Federation of India (HFI) recently completed four national championships across the country.
The senior and junior men’s and women’s championships were played under strict COVID-19 regulations including a regulation for all players and officials to provide a negative COVID-19 test result not older than 72 hours before arriving.
All four championships saw a variety of VIPs and special guests attend to support the championship and players, with a lavish closing ceremony and presentation of awards concluding each one.
The 49th HFI Senior Women’s National Championship took place from 17 to 21 March in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh and featured 25 teams initially in eight preliminary groups.
After the pool games had been played, the quarter-finals saw defending champions Indian Railways beat Bihar (25:10), Uttar Pradesh overcome Delhi (27:24), Himachal Pradesh easily defeat Rajasthan (45:19) and Haryana take a 29:25 victory over Punjab.
This set up the final four with Indian Railways taking on Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh playing Haryana on Saturday 20 March. In the end, Indian Railways – who featured 16 players with international experience – won by 11 (29:18) against Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh squeeze past Haryana 27:26.
That tight semi-final win inspired Himachal to go on to win the final played on 21 March as they beat Indian Railways by four (27:23) to take their first-ever national title.
Junior Men’s Championship
The 43rd HFI Junior Men’s National Championship took place from 23 to 27 March at the Sarvodhya Vidhayalaya in Delhi and featured 29 teams across eight preliminary groups initially.
The last eight saw Delhi go through, along with Madhya Pradesh, who beat Uttar Pradesh (38:30). SAI (Sports Authority of India) defeated Chattisgarh (36:31) while Punjab inflicted a 25:21 defeat on Haryana.
Delhi overcame Punjab 22:18 in the first semi-final, while SAI beat Madhya Pradesh by six (35:29). The final saw Delhi dispatch defending champions SAI 32:26 to take the national honours.
The 49th HFI Senior Men’s National Championship took place from 30 March to 3 April at the Malawa Institute of Technology in Indore and featured at 34 teams in eight preliminary groups initially.
In the end Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) defeated Delhi in the final, after Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan were defeated in the semi-finals. The top eight teams also qualified for the 36th Indian National Games in Goa, which were due to be held in 2020 but have been postponed due to COVID-19 and have yet to have a new date.
The Annual General Meeting of the Handball Federation of India (HFI) took place on the fringes of the event.
Junior Women’s Championship
The 43rd HFI Junior Women’s National Championship was eventually played at the Green Park Stadium, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh after moving from the Saroornagar Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad, Telangana due to state-wide COVID-19 restrictions.
19 teams competed from 31 March to 4 April initially across eight initial preliminary groups with the last four teams playing two exciting semi-finals as Aaryavrat Sports Academy defeated Delhi 35:28 and Haryana saw off Uttar Pradesh 30:27.
Aaryavrat took the gold medal, defeating Haryana by four in the final, 32:28, to claim their debut title.
For more information about the Handball Federation of India, visit their official website.
Photos: Handball Federation of India