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Date: 8/27/2012

A thrilling final of the two brilliant teams Denmark and Russia, a well-deserved unbeaten new World Champion from Denmark, who added another youth gold after 2006, a high performing level of all teams and a huge praise for the organizer Montenegro by the International Handball Federation – those highly positive memories remain from the IV Women’s Youth World Championship, which had been played in the capital Podgorica and the coastal town of Bar and ended on Sunday evening 26 August.


In his personal balance IHF President Dr Hassan Moustafa thanked the Montenegro Handball Federation: “They did a very good job, I am highly satisfied with the conditions we had in Montenegro. I had several meetings with all teams and delegations, and none of them had any complain about accommodation, food, travel or venues. This speaks for itself. The Organizing Committee has offered everybody a perfect tournament with their great hospitality.”


In his final speech before handing over the medals to the top three teams in Bar on Sunday evening, Moustafa thanked all the staff involved in this tournament, especially the head of organization, the team of Predrag Boskovic, President of the Montenegro Handball Federation.


Leon Kalin, Chairman of the IHF Commission for Organizing and Competitions, even went one step further: “This was the best ever Youth World Championship of all times. The service for the teams and the cooperation with the IHF was perfect. This organization was on one level with a senior world championship.” Like Moustafa, also Kalin mentioned the great satisfaction of all delegations with regard to the major points of the tournament, and added: “Combined with the Olympic silver medal of the women’s team in London, the organization of the Women’s Youth World Championship has proved that Montenegro belongs to the top nations in the world of women’s handball.”

Moustafa underlined the general significance of Youth World Championships, which had been introduced in 2002. “It was the clear idea and vision of the IHF to install this competition format. Before, there was only a World Championship for players aged up to 21, now they can improve and develop with two World Championships and the respective continental championships.”


After a small first edition with only eight men’s teams in Qatar in 2002, the Youth World Championships have grown fast and became strong. “The kids start playing handball at school or in mini handball tournaments. To be part of a Youth World Championship means for the best of them a first milestone in their careers. In Montenegro we have seen the future of women’s handball. We saw players who will imprint the handball in the upcoming ten or 15 years,” Moustafa said.


Aside the development of players and of teams, the Youth World Championship is also a major step for the development of all nominated referees and officials. Manfred Prause, chairman of the IHF Playing Rules and Referee Commission, was very pleased with the performances of the group of young  and new IHF referees, who mostly officiated their first world championship matches. “This international group with referees from all continental federations is on the doorstep to an international career. Of course, we have to work hard with them to bring them on an even higher level, but the way they whistled in Montenegro was great, not only concerning their rules knowledge and interpretation, but also with regard to their personality,” Prause said. An in-dept individual analysis will follow including further-on individual programmes coordinated by PRC and the continental and national referee bodies.


“One saw that our female referees and those referee couples from outside Europe are in full swing of their development,” was the balance of Moustafa: “The experiences of this tournament will prepare them – and our officials – for the future. I am highly satisfied with our IHF team in the same way I am highly satisfied with the performances of all 20 participating teams. Each team had significant top players, whom it will be interesting to follow in their development. Every participant is a winner, regardless if they won a medal or not, every federation has a future with players like those we have seen in Montenegro. And one saw that the non-European teams are bridging the gap already in this youngest age category, which underlines our world wide efforts.”


First IHF Vice President Miguel Roca Mas pointed out: “We can really be looking forward to the future in all areas: players, officials and referees. The tournament in Montenegro was a major step of a big development.”


The next Women’s Youth World Championship will take place in FYR Macedonia, in 2014.