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2019 Men’s World Championship 2019 Men’s World Championship
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Date: 9/24/2018

Men: Spain (ESP)


Key Players:
Adrian BANDERA FERNANDEZ (left wing), Sergio Jose VENEGAS RODRIGUEZ (left wing), Domingo Jesus LUIS MOSQUERA (right wing)

Path to Buenos Aires 2018:
Winners – 2017 IHF Men’s U17 Beach Handball World Championship

As current U17 world and European champions, Spain enter Buenos Aires 2018 as one of the leading favourites to win the men’s gold medal.

In Africa last year, on Flic-en-Flac beach in Mauritius, Spain won the first-ever under 17 World Championship, starting with wins over Paraguay and South Africa (both 2:0) and a 2:1 defeat of Argentina in their preliminary group.

These victories were followed by 2:0 wins over Australia, Portugal and Italy in the main round which set-up a quarter-final clash against Chinese Taipei. The Asian side were defeated which meant a semi-final place where Spain defeated Argentina again, 2:0. The final went down to the wire, but the young Spanish men overcome Italy for the second time, in a shoot-out, to win 2:1.

But this gold medal in Mauritius was not the first for the young team as a handful of players named for Buenos Aires won the Men’s U16 EHF EURO in Portugal back in 2016,
after they beat the hosts in a final shoot-out with Domingo Mosquera finishing in the top 10 competition scorers.

A year later, in 2017, Spain won the Men’s U17 EHF EURO in Zagreb, Croatia, beating Hungary 2:0 in the final as Sergio Rodriguez, named for Buenos Aires, finished as their top scorer. 2018 saw another medal for the ‘Hispanos’, but it was bronze, after they lost their Men’s U18 EHF EURO semi-final against Germany 2:0, meaning a 3/4 placement match against Croatia. They managed to win the medal match 11:10 in a shootout with Sergio Manzanares finishing fifth in the tournament top-scoring charts, thanks to his 84 points.

This recent success of the U18 Spanish men’s team is directly-linked to coach Pedro Bago Rascon, who has been the coach since 2013 and who has provided a full range of international titles.

In addition to those three 2016 and 2017 European and world titles, he also won EHF EURO silver in 2014, two bronze titles in 2015 and that bronze in Montenegro. Before coming coach, from 2009-13 he was part of the senior men’s and women’s teams as their physical trainer.

“We go to Buenos Aires full of illusion,” he said to IHF.info ahead of 2018 Youth Olympic Games. “We will try to close this fantastic cycle of results and success that these players have had but we are expecting a very tough event in Buenos Aires, with high-level teams.

“We will arrive at a great time physically, but maybe with little preparation, although I fully trust these players and their great experience despite their young age”

The Spain men will be in Preliminary 
Group A in Buenos Aires alongside Venezuela (VEN), Chinese Taipei (TPE), Thailand (THA), Uruguay (URU), Hungary (HUN) and coach Bago Rascon is clear where the tough tests lie.

“Hungary are the rivals to beat without a doubt,” he said. “Venezuela and Uruguay are teams which know how they play and have many tactical possibilities, so we have to be careful with them.

“Respecting the rest of rivals, Argentina will be participating with very prepared players, and we can’t forget Italy, Portugal and Croatia – teams of contrasting levels. We will also have an eye on the Asian sides because they have developed an interesting game.”

Coach Bago will bring his squad to Madrid to start their preparation for Argentina with a camp from 28 September at the nearby Campus Village of the University of Alcala in Alcala de Henares before meeting up with the rest of the Spanish Olympic delegation on 1 October and then travelling to South America.

The Royal Spanish Handball Federation identified left wing Adrian Bandera as their key player, describing him as a “young man who has been able to excel in the Spanish Arena Handball Tour 2018, and who stands out for his technical skills and excellent physical condition.”

Follow Spain on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and via their hashtag #HispanosJuvenilesArena.

Group at Buenos Aires 2018
Group A: Spain (ESP), Venezuela (VEN), Chinese Taipei (TPE), Thailand (THA), Uruguay (URU), Hungary (HUN)

Preliminary Group A: Match Schedule
All times local

Monday 8 October
12:30    ESP vs THA
17:00    URU vs ESP

Tuesday 9 October
10:00    ESP vs HUN
14:30    TPE vs ESP

Wednesday 10 October
12:30    ESP vs VEN