Spain were crowned champions at the 16th edition of the Women’s Mediterranean Handball Confederation (MHC) Championship (U17) after a clean sweep of their opponents in the tournament, which took place in Nafplio, Greece, between 27 February and 4 March.
In total, Spain won eight matches, including all in the preliminary and ranking rounds, capping everything off with a clear 33:20 over reigning champions Montenegro in the big final, which took place in the Napflio Sports Hall on Saturday 4 March.
All but one of Spain’s wins, the 18:10 win over Montenegro in the ranking round, have been clinched by at least ten goals, a stat that only enhances Spain’s excellent performance in the tournament.
In the final, Spain were no match for the reigning champions, clinching a 13-goal win over Montenegro, as Naroa Baquedano scored six goals, with Belen Rodriguez chipping in with five goals.
“We are happy not only for winning this trophy, but also for the way we won it, displaying some excellent matches throughout the whole tournament. It is a very good preparation for what the future holds and we are happy about the development we have made over the last few years,” said Cristina Cabeza, Spain’s coach, according to the official website of the Royal Spanish Handball Federation (RFEBM).
Nine teams from two continents entered the fray in Nafplio, with the sides divided into two groups in the preliminary round, one group consisting of five teams and another one of four sides after Algeria withdrew just before the start of the competition.
Spain won Group A with maximum points, while Türkiye finished first in Group B but failed to deliver in the ranking round, where they ended up in fourth place. As the top two sides in the ranking round – Spain and Montenegro – went to the final, the next two teams met in the bronze medal match.
The bronze medal at the Women’s Mediterranean Handball Confederation (MHC) Championship (U17) was sealed by Croatia, which delivered a perfect match against Türkiye, 30:18, to finish the tournament on a high.
Romania ended up in fifth place with a 32:18 win over Greece in the 5/6 Placement Match, while Italy finished seventh after winning 29:19 against Kosovo in the 7/8 Placement Match. The only non-European side to take part in the competition, Tunisia, finished in ninth place.
Source: IHF News