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Date: 8/25/2014

Four matches, four victories including the final: Slovenia is the well-deserved champion of the boys’ competition at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing. Thanks to a 31:25 (13:11) final win on Monday (25 August) they dethroned the defending YOG champions Egypt. And like the Korean girls before they are the second Youth Olympic Games handball debutant to finish on top of the winners’ podium in 2014. Attended by IOC President Dr. Thomas Bach the victory of the 2013 European Youth Olympic Festival winners against the before unbeaten Africans was never in a big danger.

After becoming 2003 and 2009 bronze medallists at Junior World Championships and 2004, 2010 and 2012 bronze medallists at European junior championships the triumph of Nanjing is the biggest success for Slovenian younger age handball – and the first Olympic medal (including seniors) ever for the Slovenian Handball Federation.


Boys’ final:

Egypt – Slovenia 25:31 (11:13)

The match winners for the new champions had been the same as in the rest of the tournament for Slovenia: Goalkeeper Urh Kastelic (11 saves) and the top scorers Gal Marguc and Balz Janc, who stroke eight goals each.

Like the girls’ final before, the first 45 minutes of the boys’ final was a tide and equal encounter on highest level. Both side often neutralized themselves by a strong defence, but Slovenia was more determined in attack and more movable in defence to be in lead constantly after the 5:5.

Egypt changed their goalkeeper very early, but the Slovenians – led by powerful Janc, who scored five of his eight goals in the first half – were more successful.

After a triple strike the lead was extended to 8:5, but Egypt did not give up, reducing the backlog to 11:12 right before the break.

And at the start of the second half the Northern Africans were even highly close to turn the match completely. But when they had equalized for the first time at 17:17, the Slovenian stroke back by three consecutive goals to cheat the gallows intermediately and after Egypt again had reduced to 19:20 the Europeans decided the match. The catch-up chase had been to heavy for Egypt, who clearly lacked power, so Slovenia punished a series of missed chances by a 6:0 series to seal the deal at 26:19 ten minutes before the end.

Best Egyptian scorer was Aly Refaat by five goals – but not enough to win for the first ever boys’ Youth Olympic Games gold medallist, who was dethroned by the first defeat in Nanjing.

After the boys’ final the medal ceremony for both genders took place in the JSC Gymnasium. The gold medallists Korea and Slovenia were awarded by IHF President Dr Hassan Moustafa and the South African IOC Member Sam Ramsany, the silver medals were awarded by Leon Kalin, Chairman of the IHF Commission of Organizing and Competitions, and the Spanish IOC Member Marisol Casado to Russia and Egypt, and the bronze medallists Sweden and Norway were awarded by Alexandra do Nascimento, handball role of the YOG, and Aicha Garad Ali, IOC Member from Djibouti.