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Date: 7/20/2008

Russia on top once again - this is a common news header in handball. The Russian girls overcame Serbia in Sunday's final of the II Women's Youth World Championship at the NTC hall in Bratislava, Slovakia.


Both teams had entered the final without a single defeat and the Serbs again in sparkling shape took the lead in half-time one (10:5 on minute 15). Unsettled Russia missed good coordination in defence to allow a four-goal half-time lead for Serbia.

But you have to be vigilant at all times against a Russian side because they are able at any time to turn the page - and that's what the 750-audience at the NTC hall observed in the second half. Guided by excellent scorer Makhneva, who entirely deserved to be elected to the All-Star Team of the tournament (see below) Russia drew on minute 38 to pull back the final score to a five goal lead.

The big favourites have lived up to the expectations, yet, burst into cheer after the final whistle and were smiling brightly when climbing the rostrums during the victory ceremony.

After dropping down in the semi-finals Denmark had well recovered to show another fine performance in the bronze medal match against reigning U18 European Champions France (24:21).

In Sunday´s opening game for fifth place Asian representatives Korea hold the upper hand of the game nearly all the time of the match against Spain but thanks to a thrilling finish the Spaniards grabbed fifth place to make highly estimated Koreans somewhat disappointed.

All-Star Team
Goalkeeper: Silvia Mulabo (ANG)
Left wing: Selma Blasekova (SVK)
Pivot: Dragana Cvijic (SRB)
Right wing: Szeshana Makhneva (RUS)
Left back: Celine Blard (FRA)
Centre Back: Lotte Grigel (DEN)
Right back: Seonhwa Kim (KOR)

Top Scorer Award: Asma Elghaoui (TUN) - 77 goals

Most Valuable Player: Tatiana Khmyrova (RUS)

Final Ranking:

Gold: Russia
Silver: Serbia
Bronze: Denmark

4. France
5. Spain
6. Korea
7. Slovakia
8. Angola
9. Netherlands
10. Brazil
11. Argentina
12. Tunisia
13. Japan
14. Puerto Rico
15. Hong Kong
16. Qatar