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Date: 9/5/2018

The 24 beach handball teams who will make history as the first to participate at Olympic level have been announced ahead of the 2018 Youth Olympic Games which will take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 6-18 October.

Beach handball makes its debut at the Olympic Games when the men’s and women’s tournaments start on Monday 8 October at the Tecnópolis Park venue and end, with the medal matches, on Saturday 13 October.

Buenos Aires will welcome a total of 24 beach handball teams (12 men’s and 12 women’s) from 17 countries and five continents – Oceania, Africa, Asia, Pan-America and Europe.

Hungary (women) and Spain (men) will be looking to grab another world beach handball title after winning the first-ever IHF U17 Beach Handball World Championships, held in Mauritius, last year.

Diversity and global reach
Speaking after the 24 teams were confirmed for Buenos Aires, IHF President, Dr Hassan Moustafa was looking forward to showing the global reach, excitement and professionalism of the sport.

“Beach handball continues to grow worldwide and the IHF continue to demonstrate what a powerful and attractive sport it is,” he said. “Now beach handball appears for the first time in the official programme of the IOC Youth Olympic Games and the diversity of the qualified teams through to Buenos Aires prove the universality of the sport.

“I have complete confidence in not only our athletes, but our officials too, to show the world just how attractive beach handball is, and to deliver this message to the world of sport, as it takes its first steps towards future inclusion on the full Olympic Games programme.”

Teams for Buenos Aires 2018

Men’s Tournament
Spain (ESP), Italy (ITA), Argentina (ARG), Venezuela (VEN), Chinese Taipei (TPE), Portugal (POR), Thailand (THA), Paraguay (PAR), Mauritius (MRI), Uruguay (URU), Hungary (HUN), Croatia (CRO)

Women’s Tournament
Hungary (HUN), Netherlands (NED), Argentina (ARG), Chinese Taipei (TPE), Croatia (CRO), Venezuela (VEN), Paraguay (PAR), American Samoa (ASA), Mauritius (MRI), Hong Kong (HKG), Russia (RUS), Turkey (TUR)

Competition draw to be held in Argentina
Both the men’s and women’s tournaments will start with a preliminary round featuring two groups of six teams each (12 in total for each gender).

For both tournaments the IHF U17 Men’s and Women’s Beach Handball World Championship results have been used as criteria for the seeding of the participating teams.  In the men’s competitions Uruguay, Hungary and Croatia have come through the reallocation process without participation at the world championships, while in the women’s tournament Hong Kong, Russia and Turkey followed the same route.

As hosts, Argentina have the right to choose the groups they will compete in, while no geographical criteria will be applied in the draw.

The draw for the preliminary round groups will be made in Buenos Aires on Saturday 8th September at 11:00hrs (local time).

‘Ready to show beach handball to the world’
Speaking ahead of the draw, IHF Beach Handball Working Group Chairman Giampiero Masi revealed the importance of the event for the sport as it continues to grow globally.

“Buenos Aires represents a further step on the road towards beach handball becoming an official Olympic Sport with the target of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games,” he said.

“Mauritius 2017 showed a very high standard from such young teams and we are expecting a real balanced competition in Argentina.

“All our referees and delegates are under 35 years old but have considerable experience and are well-trained in their respective continents,” he continued.

“We have had a real fruitful co-operation with the organising committee of Buenos Aires 2018 and have great expectations – the IHF, the IHF Beach Handball Working Group and all the nominees are ready to show the world how much beach handball has grown, and we invite everyone to come and watch the games in person, online or on television.”

The Summer Youth Olympic Games started back in 2010, with ‘indoor’ handball featuring in both the 2010 and 2014 editions, before switching to beach for 2018.

For further information about Buenos Aires 2018, visit www.buenosaires2018.com, for the sport schedule click HERE.


Monday 8 October
Men’s and Women’s Preliminary Round matches

Sessions: 10:00-13:20 & 14:30-17:50

Tuesday 9 October
Men’s and Women’s Preliminary Round matches

Sessions: 10:00-13:20 & 14:30-17:50

Wednesday 10 October
Men’s and Women’s Preliminary Round matches

Session: 10:00-13:20 

Thursday 11 October
Men’s and Women’s Consolation Round matches
Men’s and Women’s Main Round matches

Sessions: 10:00-13:20 & 14:30-17:50

Friday 12 October
Men’s and Women’s Consolation Round matches
Men’s and Women’s Main Round matches

Session: 10:00-13:20 

Men’s and Women’s Classification matches

Session: 14:30-17:50

Saturday 13 October
Men’s and Women’s Semi-Finals

Session: 09:30-12:50

Men’s and Women’s Final and Victory Ceremonies

Session: 14:10-17:55