Mauritius 2017: Group A (men’s competition)
04 Jul. 2017
MRI 2017 (Men’s) — Group A: Brazil, Chinese Taipei, Pakistan and Mauritius
As it happens with their senior beach handball teams, the U17 Brazil men’s side want to become a world powerhouse. “The strength of our team comes from the way our players perceive this handball modality. Actually, some of our athletes were never indoor players, they grew with beach handball. This identity and compromise can help us,” explains the Pan American Championship winners’ head coach, Djhandro Ricardo.
“We understand that this is part of a consolidation process in which we must find athletes to meet the expectations of our senior national team,” the coach explained. But that doesn’t mean they don’t aim high ahead of the U17 IHF Beach Handball World Championship: “We must be focused all the time. Our goal is to reach the top, as we dream with qualifying for the Youth Olympic Games in 2018. Becoming the World Champions is in our minds 24 hours a day.”
Chinese Taipei were silver medallists at the Asian Qualification for the Men’s U17 Beach Handball World Championship in Mauritius. In Pataya, Thailand, they beat Iran (2:1), Qatar (2:0), Pakistan (2:0) but lost to Thailand 2:0, what deprived them from gold.
Thailand, Chinese Taipei and Pakistan are the three Asian participants which will contend for two spots at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.
“Our dream is to qualify for the Youth Olympic Games,” affirms Pakistan head coach Naseer Ahmad. “We have a balanced team and all sides are equally good.”
To reach the YOG Buenos Aires 2018, the Pakistani side will have to play their best at Mauritius 2017 and rank higher than Thailand or Chinese Taipei. Precisely because of that, their preliminary phase match versus their neighbours Chinese Taipei may be considered a final. Will Pakistan be able to take revenge for their 2:0 loss at the Asian Qualification Tournament?
“Without any doubt the Brazilians are one step above the rest of the group. We didn’t have any clear idea about the other two opponents, but Group A looked like the most attainable and that’s why we chose it,” clarifies Mauritius coach Ludovic Carre.
The hosts aim to advance to the main round of the U17 World Championship. Their expectations are growing thanks to a hard preparation, while the plus of playing at home may provide the rest.
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