PREVIEW: Women's 17 EHF EURO 2017 champions Germany will be joined by 14 other European nations when a total of 24 teams gather in Kielce for the seventh edition of the Women’s Youth World Championship from 7 to 19 August
15 European teams aim for women’s under-18 world title
A year after winning the Women's 17 EHF EURO in Slovakia, Germany are looking to take the next step at the Women’s Youth World Championship 2018 in Poland.
Coach Maik Nowak’s team are among the favourites when 24 nations start their quest for the under-18 world title with the throw-off of the preliminary round on Tuesday (7 August). Participants have been drawn into four groups, and the four best teams of each group advance to the Last 16.
The final of the 13-day event (playing schedule) is on Sunday, 19 August. All matches will be played in Kielce: either in the 800-capacity Politechnika hall at the local university, or in the 4,200-capacity Legionow arena, homebase to the VELUX EHF Champions League 2016 winners.
All matches will be streamed live and can be watched at http://tvsports.pl/
Led by left back Aimee von Pereira, who was the MVP at the EHF W17 EURO last year, Germany will face four European opponents in group A: hosts Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Austria.
Austria arrive at the event only on short notice. At the beginning of last week, they accepted an invitation of the International Handball Federation to replace Brazil who withdrew from the tournament.
Germany do not have a particularly strong record in the Women’s Youth World Championship. In the six previous editions of the competition, they reached the semi-finals once - in 2014, when they finished runners-up to Romania.
Denmark have won the title twice (2006, 2012). In the preliminary round, the Scandinavians will face the likes of Hungary, Sweden and Croatia in group B.
Russia are also two-time champions (2008, 2016), and their group C includes two other European teams: Norway and the Netherlands.
The remaining three competitors from Europe - France, Spain and Montenegro - have been drawn into group D.
The 10 non-European teams include the continental under-18 champions from Asia (South Korea, group D) and Africa (Egypt, group B).
South Korea are the only team from outside Europe to have appeared in the semi-finals of a Women’s Youth World Championship. They lost the final of the inaugural edition in 2006 to Denmark, and they defeated Norway in the bronze medal match two years ago.
TEXT: Eric Willemsen / ts
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