Denmark celebrate historic Beach Handball EURO titles
08 Jul. 2019
It was a huge celebration for Denmark at the Beach Handball EURO 2019, which concluded over the weekend. The Scandinavian nation claimed both the men’s and the women’s titles – both for the first time in history. In the men’s championship, Norway secured the silver medal and Hungary won bronze. In the women’s, Hungary clinched the silver medal and the Netherlands took bronze.
The Denmark men’s side defeated Norway 2:0 in their final, after qualifying for the trophy match with a 2:0 win versus Hungary in the semi-final. That victory followed a quarter-final win with the same result over France.
Denmark were not a hot favourite early in the competition, as they ranked second in their preliminary group behind Russia. They earned their six points with wins over Portugal, Slovenia and Serbia. In the main round, three victories in three matches, versus Germany, Spain and Norway, were enough for Denmark to pass Russia and take first place in Group I.
Germany and Norway, who placed first and second in preliminary Group A, ranked third and fourth in the main round group and thereby followed Denmark and Russia to the quarter-finals.
The only semi-finalist from main round Group II, Hungary, reached the penultimate stage by way of a 2:1 victory over Germany in the quarter-final. After being defeated by Denmark in the semi-final, Hungary won the bronze-medal match versus Russia 2:0.
Hungary topped preliminary round Group D with four wins in four matches, versus Poland, France, Sweden and Montenegro. In the main round, they placed second in Group II behind Croatia, thanks to wins over Ukraine and Switzerland and one loss, to the group winners.
All results and news on the men’s competition can be found on the official website of the EHF.
Just like in the men’s competition, Denmark did not have a perfect run to the title, but performed when it counted to earn the trophy with a great knock-out phase campaign.
Denmark began by topping preliminary Group D thanks to wins over Ukraine, Germany, Russia and North Macedonia. They proceeded to main round Group II, where they recorded wins over Italy and current world champions Greece, before finishing with a loss to Spain. Spain thereby ranked first with Denmark in second, while Greece and Ukraine secured the group’s other quarter-final places as the third- and fourth-ranked sides.
In the quarter-final, Denmark beat Norway 2:1 after a shoot-out, then took the same result against Croatia in the semi-final. Denmark’s final opponents, Hungary, enjoyed a more comfortable 2:0 win in their semi-final versus the Netherlands. However, they needed a shoot-out to beat Spain 2:1 in the quarter-final.
After the main round stage, few would have predicted Hungary would reach the final, as they finished fourth in Group I. Hungary were lucky to scrape into the quarter-finals, as they recorded only losses – versus Croatia, the Netherlands and Norway – in the main round.
It was their performance in the preliminary round that took Hungary to the knock-out stage. Hungary ranked on top of Group B thanks to a perfect run of four victories. They started with a 2:0 win versus hosts Poland, then beat France, Portugal and Cyprus.
Following their losses in the semi-final, Croatia and the Netherlands met to decide the bronze medal, with the Netherlands taking a 2:0 victory.
More information on the women’s championship can be found on the official website of the EHF.
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP AND WORLD BEACH GAMES QUALIFICATION
The teams ranked 1-5 in both the men’s and women’s competitions at the continental championships played in Stare Jablonki, Poland, qualified for the 2020 IHF Beach Handball World Championships, while Denmark’s men’s team and Hungary’s women’s team also qualified for the inaugural World Beach Games to be held in October 2019 in Qatar (Denmark’s women’s team are already qualified through the 2018 Beach Handball World Championship).
19. North Macedonia
20. North Macedonia
Photo: Uros Hocevar / EHF