Finals weekend ahead at M20 EHF Championship
Just eight games remain at the M20 EHF Championship 1 in Bulgaria, with eight teams left standing in the last duels for placement — and four in the race for the title. The ranking decisions will be made over an action-packed weekend, starting on Saturday and concluding on Sunday. All matches will be streamed live on EHFTV.
The headlining action is the race for the trophy, which is down to Austria, Finland, Czech Republic and The Netherlands, with the following schedule for the finals:
Saturday 9 July
- semi-final: Czech Republic vs Netherlands — 16:30 CEST
- semi-final: Austria vs Finland — 19:00 CEST
Sunday 10 July
- 3/4 placement 14:30 CEST
- final 17:00 CEST
Alongside the semi-finals, the 5–8 cross-matches will be played on Saturday, with Latvia playing Georgia at 11:30 CEST and Slovakia meeting Bulgaria at 14:00 CEST. The last 5–8 placement matches will be played on Sunday.
The four semi-finalists qualified for the penultimate stage of the competition as the top-ranked sides in their respective preliminary groups. Czech Republic were winners of group A, ahead of Finland, while Austria topped group B ahead of The Netherlands. Both group winners took all victories on their path to the top, while Finland and The Netherlands lost only against Czech Republic and Austria, respectively.
Behind Czech Republic and Finland in group A came Latvia in third then tournament hosts Bulgaria in fourth. Bulgaria were defeated by all three group opponents, while Latvia opened with a victory against the home side before losses at the hands of Finland — just one goal, at 24:25 — and Czech Republic.
Although Bulgaria lost all three games, they were the closest of all teams to Czech Republic, with a defeat of just three goals, 23:26, while Finland and Latvia lost more decisively to the group winners.
Group B featured five teams, in contrast to the four in group A. After the two group leaders, Slovakia ranked third, Georgia fourth and Türkiye fifth. Slovakia earned two victories, against the two lower-ranked teams, Georgia took their one win against Türkiye and Türkiye recorded only losses. Slovakia were unlucky in the end, as the result that proved the decider regarding their semi-final chance was a defeat of just one goal to The Netherlands — 31:32.
The stage is now set for the first trophy decision of the action-packed weeks of YAC and beach handball events, which you can keep up with on our Summer Blog running every day here on eurohandball.com.