Can Argentina upset the Brazilian beach behemoth?
08 Apr. 2022
The second edition of the South and Central America Handball Confederation Men’s and Women’s Beach Handball Championships throw off in Brazil this Sunday 10 April, before concluding on Wednesday 13 April.
Known as the SCAHC (or COSCABAL in Spanish) Championships, continental titles, IHF World Championship and World Games qualification are all up for grabs in the capital of the Brazilian coastal state of Alagoas, Maceió.
Six nations will take part in their respective events, with Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay and Uruguay represented in both the men’s and women’s competitions.
More than continental glory at stake
With the 2022 IHF Men’s and Women’s Beach Handball World Championships in Greece just over two months away and the 2022 World Games in the USA following shortly after, continental places for both global events will be won on the Brazilian sand.
Both the men’s and women’s competition in Maceió feature three qualification places for the World Championships and one qualification place for the World Games each.
Thanks to their World Championship title won back in 2018, the last event before COVID-19 hit the world, Brazil’s men are already through to both, so the three best teams excluding the hosts will go through to Greece, with the top team, excluding Brazil, going through to Alabama.
The top three teams in the women’s competition will book their ticket to Greece, with the winners also confirming their place in the USA.
Alagoas state, where the championships are based in Brazil, has supported the event with the Government of Alagoas, through the Department of Sport, Leisure and Youth (Selaj) providing R$200,000 in support, via the Alagoas Handball Federation, amongst financial awards to other sports.
“This signing of contracts is a sequence of investments by the Government of Alagoas for sport,” said Charles Hebert, Secretary of Sport, Leisure and Youth. “The main teams from Alagoas will benefit, the main women's team and a great nine international event will be held in our capital.”
Felipe Feijó, President of the Alagoas Handball Federation was present at the awarding ceremony.
Argentina look to cause upset
In his squad of 10, Argentina women’s coach Salvador Comparone has named a number of 2018 Youth Olympic Games gold medallists, including the European-based Fiorella Corimberto (Morvedre – Spain) and home based Lucila Balsas and Gisela Bonomi. They will be led by their experienced captain Celeste Meccia, who plays her club handball in Switzerland.
Men’s coach Sebastián Ferraro has included a number of players who won bronze in the same competition on home soil, including Alejo Novillo, Nicolás Ezequiel Millet and Tomas Salvador Páez Alarcón.
Youth showing the way
At the end of last month, Argentina’s women did overhaul Brazil in the region, winning the SCAHC Beach Handball Championship in Buenos Aires, while Brazil took the men’s edition.
Argentina’s men and Brazil’s women finished as runners-up and qualified for the 2022 IHF Men’s and Women’s Youth (U18) Beach Handball World Championships. The event takes place just before the senior event at the same venue in Greece.
Second edition a long time coming
Due to the pandemic, beach handball players in South and Central America have been waiting a long time to go toe-to-toe in the sand again.
The first – and last – championship was held in Marica, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 11 to 14 July with the host nation completing a double.
Brazil’s men beat Uruguay 2-0 in the final to complete a perfect tournament which saw them win all their games 2-0. Argentina finished in third place followed by Paraguay, Ecuador and Chile.
The Brazilian women only lost one set in their gold-medal journey, with Paraguay taking one off them on the first day of competition. They saw off Argentina in the final, with Paraguay ending with a bronze and Uruguay and Chile following in the ranking of the five-nation tournament.
Stream via Fanatiz
All games will be streamed on Fanatiz as part of their partnership with the SCAHC. For more information, visit handballsca.fanatiz.com.