The IHF Beach Handball World Championships continue today with quarter-final, and semi-final matchups on the pristine sands of Karteros, Crete. Yesterday’s handball war of attrition was all about the players and teams capable of making the least number of mistakes. Greece’s loss to a powerful Croatia squad and upstart Uruguay letting Argentina come back were prime examples. Now, there’s no more room for error as the best beach handball players in the world reach for the title of “World Champion.”
In Men’s action today, Croatia takes on Norway in the first quarter-final of Greece 2022. This is a rematch of last year’s European Championship in Bulgaria, one of the key matchups leading into the semi-finals.
Following this match, host nation Greece, take on a strong Qatar team. Greece lost in devastating fashion to Croatia yesterday, so they will be looking to do some devastation all their own against the Asian team. Rounding up quarter-final play, Spain plays Brazil at center court, while upstarts Uruguay take on Denmark.
Croatia’s Lucian Bura (feature image) goes into this round as the tournament’s top scorer with 124 points. The top goalkeeper, Brazil’s Cristiano Seben Rossa protected the net better than any competitor with 48 saves from 145 shots faced. Statistically, Brazil has been the best defensive team giving up only 33 points on average. Croatia, with Bura’s output, is the top-scoring team with 51.6 goals per contest.
After these key morning sessions, the semi-finalists will compete in games taking place at 18:20 and 20:50. All throughout the day, 9-16 placement games will be taking place including Argentina versus Ecuador. In the afternoon and evening sessions, the losers of the quarter-finals will play off and the 9-16 placement round splits into 9-12 and 13-16 competitions. Here’s a recap of how we got here.
On the women’s side, today promises to be packed with action as three of the four quarter-final matches are scheduled to take place in the same time slot. (12:20 EEST). The favorites, the unbeaten hosts, Team Greece play Argentina. At the same time, Spain takes on Brazil, and Portugal tips off against Germany. Following these key matches, Denmark and Netherlands go head to head at 13:10. Greece and Germany are the only two teams to have won all six of their matches.
When these morning sessions have concluded, the semi-finalists will be paired for matches at 19:10 and 20:00 this evening.
Placement matches will also take place today for determining spots 9-16. placement round games in the morning, with five continents in action. Later in the evening, the losers of the quarter-finals will play off and the 9-16 placement round splits into 9-12 and 13-16 competitions.
Interesting athletes to watch include the tournament’s top 2 goalscorers Marielle Elisabeth Mathisen Martinsen (102/17 per game), and USA’s Christine Mansour (100/16.67). Also, Greece’s ‘Magical Magda’ (Magdalini Kepesidou) has closed the goal to competitors with 52 saves on 173 shots faced.