Saturday, 16 July 2022

Croatia Beach Handball Takes Gold at 2022 World Games in Alabama!

July 16, 2022 - After three bronze and one silver, the Croatia beach handball team won their first gold medal at the 2022 World Games in Birmingham, Alabama!

The Croatia men's senior national team defeated Qatar 2-1 (14-17, 20-16, 9-6) in the final of the World Games and won their first gold at the World Games and the 33rd beach handball medal in Croatia.

The World Games in Birmingham are the fifth edition in which the Croatia men's senior beach handball team participates. From previous competitions, the seniors have won three bronze medals (Germany 2005, Taiwan 2009, Colombia 2013) and one silver (Poland 2017), and the rich collection lacked gold. However, with the victory against the national team of Qatar in the final, that goal was achieved.

In the first set of the final, Qatar was more successful and went to halftime with 14-17. In the second set, Croatia was better and forced the game into a shootout after 20-16. After a flawless shootout, the final score was 2-1 for Croatia! 

Dominik Marković was declared the tournament's best goalkeeper, while Lucian Bura once again won the title of the best right winger.

Coach Mladen Paradžik, national team captain Ivan Jurić, and national team member Josip Leko shared their impressions after the final.

“The boys won another gold this year. We deservedly won the two big competitions with the pure mentality of a winner, which adorns this team the most. That keeps them together, and it's wonderful to lead such a team with your assistants. It should be noted that the boys deserved all the praise. As for the match, it was a nervous final, but that's how it is when you're playing for a medal, and I'd say that was expected given the importance of the match. A great conclusion to the season. We are still waiting for the second stage of the Beach Handball Global Tour in Spain. Our goal has been achieved, and now we are striving towards the future and the Olympics. In the end, I would like to say that these medals are very important for us because they would not be possible without the work of the Croatian Handball Federation and all the people who stand behind this medal. It's not a small number of people; it's not just ten players. It is the product of the systematic and synchronized work of everyone involved, and I am very grateful to them for that," coach Mladen Paradžik said.

"We are thrilled to be champions for the first time in the history of the Croatia national team. The first gold at the World Games, the most massive event after the Olympic Games. It's an event for those sports that aspire to join the Olympic family. After three bronze and one silver, the gold finally arrived. The match was tough; Qatar was a great opponent. They read our game in the first set. In the second set, we stepped up our game in attack; with a good defense in the first and second half, we managed to win and go to the shootout. We are returning to Croatia with full hearts and happiness," said captain Ivan Jurić after the final.

"The first gold at the World Games. That was our goal. This summer, we won everything we could, which only means that we prepared well and that our heads were in the right place. As for the match, in the first set, we played defense, and we conceded less than 18 goals, which is always our goal. We were not concentrated on the attack, which led to the victory of Qatar in the first set. But we didn't lose our heads; we played our game, and all scored in the shootout. We are thrilled and delighted and hope there will be more gold medals at the World Games," said Josip Leko.

Recall, after the Croatia junior beach handball team brought home the gold medal at the world championships last month, the senior Croatia beach handball team recorded their third world championship title at the 2022 Men's Beach Handball World Championships in Greece. In the final match, Croatia was better than Denmark 2-0 (24-22, 21-18). Lucian Bura was named the best right-winger and the top scorer of the championship then, too. 

Source: BHC

To read more about sports in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

Monday, 27 June 2022

Croatia Beach Handball Team Wins 2022 World Championships in Greece!

June 27, 2022 - After the Croatia junior beach handball team brought home the gold medal just one week ago, the senior Croatia beach handball team recorded their third world title and 30th medal total after winning the 2022 Men's Beach Handball World Championships in Greece!

The Croatia men's senior beach handball team took home the title at the World Championships in Heraklion on Sunday! 

In the final match, Croatia was better than Denmark 2-0 (24-22, 21-18) in sets and thus secured their third world title and the 30th medal for Croatia beach handball.

After six days of competition and nine wins in nine games, Lucian Bura was named the best right-winger and the best scorer of the championship.

This year's World Championships final was a replay of last year's final at the European Championships, but this time with a happy ending and Croatia's victory.

Denmark tried to catch up and get closer to Croatia to bring the game to a penalty shootout, but they could not threaten the extremely collected Croatia throughout the tournament.

"The final match, the only match in which you have nothing to lose, and you can only win. Against Denmark, it was exactly as we imagined, challenging and on one ball. 

This time it turned out that we reacted excellently. They respected our agreements, and we responded skillfully defensively, especially Valentino and Jurić, who agreed and made it easier for our goalkeeper in the defense.

This is our third title, something we always strive for. I always have the feeling that gold is coming home, and we had that feeling throughout the tournament. And all credit to the boys for a great game," pointed out Croatia's coach Mladen Paradžik.

"A tough match, a match decided by details, literally small misses. In the first set, we missed a lot - maybe two, three shots, maybe one more for them, and we played maybe a better defense, which brought us victory.

We were both nervous in the second set, and it was clear that it was the final, but the last couple of defenses were great; Domi picked up something and, in the end, I think, a well-deserved victory.

Of course, it is a great success, especially after the junior national team also won the title a few weeks ago. An excellent three weeks in Greece for Croatia handball," commented Nikola Finek, a Croatia national team member who recorded an outstanding performance at the World Championships. 

Croatia's new world champions in beach handball:


Congratulations to the players and coaching staff on this exceptional achievement!

Source: HRS

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated sports section