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News Details

Date: 7/31/2016

Denmark and Russia qualified for the 2016 IHF Women’s Youth (U18) World Championship finals with outstanding performances in their semi-finals, defeating Norway and Korea respectively to make their way to the title match. 

The final, bronze-medal match and placement round 5-8 games will all be streamed free and live here

AEGON Arena, Sunday 31 July
Final: Denmark vs Russia 18:00 local time

From the beginning of the 2016 IHF Women’s Youth (U18) World Championship Denmark were clearly one of the most dominant teams, so it is of little surprise that they will take to the court to play for the trophy mere weeks after the Junior side raised it at the 2016 IHF Women’s Junior (U20) World Championship in Moscow. 

As was the final at Russia 2016, the final at Slovakia 2016 will be a rematch of the trophy game at the most recent European championship for this age category. That match at the Women’s 17 EHF EURO 2015 ended with a one-goal victory for Denmark, who will hope to repeat that same performance – while Russia will do their best to avoid a similar outcome. 

Both teams are in excellent form having made their way through the championship undefeated, and only one other nation has come close to either of them. The tightest match Denmark played was their one-goal victory at 30:29 against Romania in the eighth-final, while Russia have recorded nothing but clear wins. 

The 2016 Youth world title will undoubtedly be decided in a thrilling match as both teams can count on an outstanding roster of talent, including excellent goalkeepers with all but one in that position out of both teams recording an average below 35% at Slovakia 2016. For some players there is perhaps a little extra motivation, as Russia’s Karina Sabirova, Antonina Skorobogatchenko and Mariia Duvakina were all part of the Junior squad that lost the final in extra time against Denmark just a little over two weeks ago at Russia 2016. 

Sabirova and Skorobogatchenko are therefore unsurprisingly two of the stand-out stars for Russia, with a total of 51 and 48 goals respectively, while Denmark count on a strong but less high-scoring backcourt dominated by captain Kristina Jorgensen and Nicoline Norgaard Olsen to lead their attack. 

Bronze-medal match: Norway vs Korea 15:30 local time

Norway and Korea must both recover from the disappointment of losing their semi-finals if they hope to put up a strong fight for the bronze medal. One positive from their semi-final defeats is that they were not sudden – both were trailing long before the final whistle so did not suffer the sharp upswing of disappointment caused by a last-second loss or a defeat in extra time. Such a loss is more difficult to recover from mentally, but both of these teams can take to the court on Sunday 31 July with the knowledge that they fought hard to the final whistle in their semi-final despite facing opponents that outplayed them on the day. 

For Korea, Norway will certainly be a more comfortably opponent in comparison with the powerful Russian squad, who are one of the tallest on average at Slovakia 2016. They will also be very well prepared by coach Seong Ok Oh, who pointed out after the semi-final that her team had improved their weak points from the quarter-final only to suffer in other aspects of their game:

“We prepared our offensive game very thoroughly, but it did not help us in the match,” said Ok Oh. “We needed fast breaks, but the opponent did not let us do it. Besides, we made too many mistakes in shooting.”

Ok Oh will very likely be able to find the remedy for her team’s shooting problems against Russia, and Korea can enter this match with more confidence than Norway given they won the Group C against the Scandinavian team by five goals at 30:25.