Poland – Brazil match tops the list of beach handball’s first day
Poland’s debut in the beach handball competition of The World Games 2017 was marked by mixed luck. In the most-anticipated game of the day, Poland fell to Brazil 2:0.
It was exactly what the crowd of handball fans had been looking forward to when they gathered Wednesday afternoon at the AWF sport complex in Wrocław to see the Polish women’s team take to the sands. The first set didn’t go so well for the home team as Brazil got excellent wing play from its front line and jumped out to a lead that grew with each passing minute. After the first 10 minutes, the score stood 24:11 to the Canarinhos from South America. The second half was decidedly more evenly matched and Poland even pulled ahead slightly at 10:8, before their rivals kicked into high gear again and captured the set 18:12, giving them the 2:0 win.
The match with Brazil was the second contest of the day for the host nation. Earlier Marek Karpiński’s squad cruised to victory over Taipei by a score of 2:0. The first set saw Poland ride a strong wave of crowd support that evidently made it difficult for their opponents to focus. The second half brought a push-back from the Chinese, but the home team eventually pulled away to take the set 15:10 and garner a valuable pair of points in group play.
The Polish men had somewhat different luck. While falling to Hungary 2:0, they demonstrated a strong will to win, fighting to the very end, as the scores of both sets attest: 26:24 and 17:16. The second match against Croatia brought the same result and by the same score (2:0).
In the second round of group play, Polish women will play Australia and the men take on Egypt.
While there was some concern that play would be interrupted by poor weather conditions, all matches got underway according to plan at 9.00 at the Marsowe Fields complex. The tourney favourites – Brazil – started out as expected: the men’s side defeated Uruguay 2:0 and the women beat Australia 2:0. Fresh off a European championship title, Norway did not disappoint either, defeating Tunisia by two sets.
The stands for today’s matches were filled with fans including some well-known faces. Among them was SławomirSzmal, voted best handball player in the world in 2009. The popular goalkeeper from Poland was a very active and vocal fan during the Poland – Brazil match.