European Women's Handball Championship 2016
The 2016 European Women's Handball Championship will be held in Sweden from 4 to 18 December 2016. It will be the second time that Sweden hosts the tournament. It is the 12th time this competition inter-nations takes place and the 5th time it will be held in Scandinavia.
The best 16 European will take the start on 5th of December. 14 of them played at the same event in 2014, the only returning countries this year being Czech Republic and Slovenia which last qualified for this event in 2012 and 2010, respectively.
In the first group stage, the teams have been divided into 4 groups of 4 teams each. The teams ranked in the first 3 places of each group will go to the main round group stage, where the teams of Group A will meet the teams of Group B and the teams of Group C and D will face each other. At the start of this main round group stage, the teams will still have the points they won in the first group stage, but not the points they won against the team which placed 4th in their group. After the second group stage, the first 2 teams of each group will qualify to the semifinals: the first ranked team of Group I will face the 2nd place of Group II and vice versa. The teams ranked 3rd on both groups will face each other in a match for the 5th place.
Group A is composed by the host country Sweden, Spain, Serbia and Slovenia and it will take place at the Hovet Arena in Stockholm. The team of Isabelle Gullden and Linnea Torstenson, the starts of the Champions League winner, CSM Bucharest is expected to win this group, but Andrea Lekic’s Serbia and Spain with Marta Mangue and Carmen Martin can put the Scandinavian team is trouble. At a first look, Slovenia is the main favorite of taking the 4th place.
Group B will be playing in Kristianstad and it has at its start Netherlands, France, Germany and Poland. The statistics are insignificant here as all the teams look able to get a qualification spot. To notice here is the fact that this is the first event that the team of Poland plays since the coach Kim Rasmussen has been replaced by Leszek Krowicki.
The Group C looks to be one of the ’falling stars’ teams. All Montenegro, Hungary and Denmark, the main favorites of this group seem to not be looking as good as they used to. Czech Republic is the other team of this group, but a qualification for the Czechs will be more than unexpectable.
Group D is the best looking groups of all. Is it composed by the European champion Norway, the Olympic gold medalist Russia and the world championships bronze medalist Romania, together with Andrea Penezic’s Croatia. Is is expectable that the winners of this group to run deep into the semifinals. The amazing derbies of this group will be played in Helsinborg.
Talking about winners, there are too many names to mention and, most probably, the winning team will be the one which can provide a very powerful bench. The knock-out stage of the competition will be played in Goteborg between 16th-18th of December.
Who wins the European Women's Handball Championship 2016?