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FOUR "PANTHERS" IN NATIONAL TEAM @ EURO2017

0076 duma repkaThe european beach handball, held on jarun lake in Zagreb, started today for the juniors. The defending champions are Spain in mens and The Nederlands  in womens competition. The senior tournament starts in Tuesday and goes on until Sunday when the new king of the old continent will be crowned. For us, its a very big deal to have four representatives on the Euros, Kristina Smiljanić and Simona Hajduk for girls and Ivan Dumenčić and Dario Begonja for men.

 

 

The mens team, as the raining world and four-time consecutive european champion, is the main favourite to win the gold at home. Are boys are in the group with Serbia, Norway, Ukraine, Sweden, Switzerland and the debutant France. The other group consists of Hungary, Netherlands, Spain, Russian Federation, Denmark and Germany.

 

To Ivan Dumenčić this will be the third Euro, with two World Cups and one World Games also played. From every single competition he came back with a medal and he expects to this time aswell: ˝Although we are considered to be big favourites, that will be hard to justify on the court. There are ad least four to five teams who can win gold, but that is also our goal and we do not plan to give it away at home. We only had two weeks to prepare, which is very short, but I hope that will not be a deciding factor.˝

 

The other Dubrava member in the national team is Dario Begonja. After last year when he was crowned world champion, this will be his first Euro: ˝It is a great honor representing Croatia at home, in front of our crowd, and I would like to invite everybody to come to Jarun and support us.˝ Besides Begonja and Dumenčić there were two more members on the squad preparing for the Euro - Drago Prka and Josip Jurić Grgić, but the coach decided to trust in the World Cup winning roster.

 

There are three groups in the female Euro. The team lead by Iva Kanjugović will play against Spain, Greece, Italy and Switzerland in the group. In group A, with the title defenders Hungary, there are also the Netherlands, Russian Federation, Germany and Denmark. In group B there are Norway, Poland, Sweden, Ukraine and France.

 

Kristina Smiljanić, our captain and one of the most experienced players with three competitions behind her had this to say: ˝I expect us to see what works and what doesnt through the test event, and also see how the new players will react, that could be a big plus before the Euro starts. We are not very familiar with the other teams in our group but Spain, as the reigning world champion, is definetly the favourite. We would like to reach the quarterfinal and then everything is possible.˝

 

One of the before-mentioned debutants is our goalkeeper Simona Hajduk. Although she was invited to play before, the ˝regular˝ handball came in the way. ˝Considering this is my first competition I am not very familiar with the teams and their qualities, but knowing some of the players from club competitions, I believe we have a chance for a good result. I hope it will be better than the last two (9th in 2013. And 2015), and maybe even a medal.˝

 

All that is related to the tournament you can follow on the official pages of the EHF, eurohandball.com, or on the FB page Beach handball EURO Croatia 2017.

 

See you on Jarun, Support our players.


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