PREVIEW: The beach handball season begins with the 11th Jarun Cup, which throws off in Zagreb on 27 April 2018
Beach handball season opens in Croatia
As the end of the indoor club season draws near and Europe’s top club competitions reach their exciting climax, the beach handball season is just beginning. Just as it did in 2017, the Jarun Cup in Zagreb, Croatia will open the beach handball season when it takes place from April 27 to 1 May.
The Jarun Cup also marks the opening event on the European Beach Tour (ebt) calendar, offering the first opportunity for teams to collect points toward the overall ranking, which will ultimately determine the teams that qualify for the ebt Finals 2019.
The 11th edition of the Jarun Cup, which takes its name from Jarun Lake where the five-day tournament is held every year, will see teams representing 13 countries on the sand. Squads from Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland will travel to the event, competing alongside the local squads from Croatia.
“Numbers from the last year’s edition of the tournament (64 teams in all categories, 151 played games, around 500 participants from 11 European countries, 50 volunteers helping in the tournament organisation) confirmed that Jarun Cup beach handball tournament is constantly growing, and our goal is to improve it a little bit more every year,” said BHC Zagreb President Matija Sulc on the Jarun Cup website.
In 2018, 12 teams, split into two playing groups of six, will contest the women’s Jarun Cup trophy. Group A appears to be a highly competitive one, featuring three teams that played the Jarun Cup 2017 Semi-finals – Detono Zagreb, Kontesa Nera and Dubrava.
The men’s competition will begin with four preliminary round groups of five teams each. Alongside 2017 champions Detono Zagreb (Group B), 2017 Champions Cup winners Ekaterinodar (Group A) and the Sweden national team (Group D) will be on the sand.
In 2017, Croatian team Detono Zagreb won the men’s Jarun Cup title, while Hungarian side Szentendrei NKE claimed the women’s trophy. Detono Zagreb went on to win the ebt Finals 2017, reclaiming the title lost in 2016 – after they were the champions in the event from 2009 to 2012, then again in 2014 and 2015. Szentendrei also made it to the trophy match at the ebt Finals 2017, but were defeated by Spanish side Club Balonmano Playa Algeciras.
Matches at the Jarun Cup 2018 will be live streamed on the official website.
TEXT: Courtney Gahan / ts
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