SUMMARY: All 16 teams participating at the Women’s EHF EURO 2018 in France (29 November to 16 December) used the most recent national team week to test their players, but one piece of news overshadowed much of it
EHF EURO hosts France suffer setback at Golden League
Two months out of their opening match against Russia on 29 November in Nancy, EHF EURO 2018 hosts and current world champions France have learnt that the way back to the top is still a long one.
At the Golden League in Denmark, they finished last, losing their matches against Denmark (24:21) and Poland (22:16), only taking a point against EHF EURO 2016 champions Norway (22:22).
Norway took the overall victory following wins against Denmark (25:20) and Poland (34:27), but much of the happiness was overshadowed by news coming from off court: Long-time injured Norwegian right back Nora Mørk has to undergo another knee operation and is likely to miss the EHF EURO.
Her club, Women’s EHF Champions League winners Györi Audi ETO KC, announced that rehabilitation since Mørk’s injury in February 2018 had been going well, but recent pain in the operated knee make a new surgery necessary.
Poland finished the Golden League in second following 23:21 win against Denmark.
Three double-headers took place between two teams each taking the courts at the EHF EURO in December. Olympic champions Russia gained some confidence, beating Germany in two high-scoring matches 35:31 and 36:33.
Success was more equally distributed in the other two matches. Slovenia won the first match against Serbia, 34:31, but then lost the second one, 35:27. The same happened in Györ where Hungary first beat Montenegro 29:25 but lost 19:23 in the second encounter.
Six teams tested against nations not participating at the Women’s EHF EURO 2018, with all but one recording two victories each.
Sweden beat Iceland twice (33:20 and 26:25); Croatia took wins against Finland (21:19) and China (29:19). Netherlands beat Japan clearly on two occasions (38:26 and 28:17).
Spain won their two friendlies against Austria (32:22 and 28:26) and Romania boosted their confidence with a 32:23 win against their own B team and a 32:12 victory against a Poland B team.
Czech Republic ended the national team week with a 26:22 win and a 22-all draw against Slovakia.
Starting this week, the Women’s EHF Champions League will now be women’s handball’s focus. The national teams will gather once again on 19 November, 10 days before the Women’s EHF EURO 2018 in France starts.
TEXT: EHF / ts
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