We use cookies

By continuing to browse ihf.info, you agree to our terms of use , privacy policy and the use of cookies. For more information, please review our cookie policy.



Date: 4/9/2018

Cuba, Canada and Puerto Rico have secured places at the 2018 Pan American Men’s Handball Championship as the three top-ranked sides at the ‘North & Caribbean Zone’ qualification event in Mexico City.


Cuba finished their campaign undefeated after adding a 28:28 draw against Mexico and a commanding 40:20 win versus Dominican Republic to their record on the final two days of the round-robin competition. Cuba’s impressive performance throughout the qualification event reflects their long-term hold on the Pan American title, which they won eight consecutive times from 1979 to 1998 before Brazil and Argentina became the leading forces in the region. Cuba have not contested the Pan American Championship since 2010.


Second-placed Canada secured their berth at the Pan American Championship thanks to their strong performances on the final days. After opening their campaign with a victory, a draw and a loss, Canada returned following the rest day (on April 6) rejuvenated. Two victories in the last matches – 22:21 against Dominican Republic and 33:31 versus the USA – were enough to move Canada up to second place on the table, where they finish with seven points behind Cuba’s nine.


The third ticket to the Pan American Championship came down to a head-to-head battle decided on the final day of matches, as both Puerto Rico and Mexico collected a total of five points during their campaigns. After the opening three days in Mexico City, the hosts seemed on course to qualify for the continental championship but the draw versus Cuba and a loss to Puerto Rico (28:30) meant Mexico added only one point to their tally and therefore dropped lower on the table.


For Puerto Rico, the situation was the opposite – they opened the qualification event with two defeats and a draw, which put them under pressure to lift their game on the final days of competition. Puerto Rico had their first taste of victory against the USA, winning 34:28, before taking a crucial two points when they defeated Mexico 30:28 in the deciding game.


Puerto Rico and Mexico therefore finished on five points, sharing third position, but Puerto Rico clinched the berth at the Pan American Championship due to the head-to-head result. On the final ranking, the USA were fifth and Dominican Republic finished sixth.


Cuba, Canada and Puerto Rico join automatically qualified Argentina, Brazil and Chile; hosts Greenland; and ‘South Zone’ teams Colombia, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay on the now complete list of nations to contest the 2018 Pan American Championship. The event in Nuuk, Greenland will take place from June 16 to 24, and see the top three sides qualify for the 26th IHF Men’s World Championship in Germany and Denmark.


Photo: Mexican Olympic Committee