Strong Spain women lead first day of Beach Handball Global Tour
01 Jul. 2022
2022 IHF Women’s Beach Handball World Championship silver medallists Spain ended the first day of the debut Beach Handball Global Tour stage on top with two wins from two games at the LOTOS Stadion Letni in Gdańsk, northern Poland.
Playing in the second game of the day, Spain easily overcame the hosts 2-0 (22:14, 12:6) in a tale of two very different periods. Alba Diaz grabbed 14 points for Spain to ensure the win.
Spain then faced a rematch of the World Championship final from Sunday in their second match of the day, with Germany their opponents on the Polish sand.
However, in Poland, Germany are playing with a completely-changed squad of 10 to what they fielded at the Greece 2022 final last week. Despite the squad rotation, the match was tense with Spain winning 2-1 in the end.
They were made to work though, with Germany winning the first period thanks to a last-second two-pointer (16:17). Spain then won the second half 16:10. It went to a shoot-out and Spain won 5:2. Monica Camara Heras ended with 14 points to finish as the top scorer.
The opening game of the day had seen the world champions take on Croatia and it was a cracker. Germany lost a low-scoring, defensive first period 6:10, but took a high-scoring second, 24:18. The shoot-out was decided 6:2 in favour of Croatia.
The influential Anja Vida Luksic top-scored with 12 points in the game for Croatia and ended the opening day as competition top scorer on 23 points.
In the fourth and final game of the day, Poland won a shoot-out against Croatia 8:7 which meant the table saw Spain top on four points, followed by Croatia and Poland (two points). Germany, with their two defeats finished the day in bottom.
"We lost to Poland but first of all, we beat the world champions, I'm very satisfied with that,” said Luksic to BHC.com.hr. “I am very satisfied with the defence, but we need to improve the execution of shots. We are making progress.
“Spain are waiting for us tomorrow, a very good team, the vice-champions of the world, and we will do our best.”
The second match day on Saturday throws off with Croatia vs Spain (09:30 CEST*), followed by Germany taking on Poland (10:20* CEST). The final will start at 14:50 CEST, with the 3/4 placement match taking place at 17:30 CEST.
*Update: The throw-off on day 2 has been delayed due to severe weather conditions in Gdansk.