Draw for M20 EHF EURO 2022 held in Gondomar
The 16 nations set to contest the M20 EHF EURO 2022 in Portugal on 7–17 July learned their preliminary round opponents on Friday afternoon as the draw took place in Gondomar.
The competition was forced into cancellation in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, making the 2022 edition the first in four years. Slovenia were the last U20 champions crowned after beating France in the final in 2018, while Germany picked up the bronze medal ahead of 2022 hosts Portugal in fourth.
However, the generation that will vie for the 2022 title did have the chance to don their national jerseys for a younger age category championship, as a one-off M19 EHF EURO was held in 2021, with Germany taking the title.
Therefore considered the European current title holders in this generation, Germany were seeded into pot 1 for the draw for the 13th edition of the event. Their preliminary round opponents will be Iceland, Italy and Serbia in group D.
The silver medallists from the M19 EHF EURO 2021, Croatia, will take on Sweden, France and Montenegro in group C.
Spain, who clinched bronze at the M19 EHF EURO 2021, will meet Portugal, Norway and Poland in group A, while Slovenia — fourth place at the 2021 event — will start in group B. Their opponents will be Denmark, Hungary and Faroe Islands.
From the preliminary round, the top two teams will progress to the main round, while the remainder will continue in the intermediate round. The semi-finalists will then be the two top-ranked teams in each of the two main round groups.
A number of special guests attended or assisted with the draw, including EHF President Michael Wiederer, Portuguese Handball Federation President Miguel Laranjeiro, and representatives of the hosting municipalities.
Portugal national team members from the past, present and future also had a role in the draw, with the likes of legendary Carlos Resende, Rui Silva, Fabio Magalhaes and Martim Costa and participating.
“I love the handball today and I am very pleased to see that we have a good generation. I sincerely hope that this event will be a good opportunity for them to grow — not just to win, but to grow as players,” said Carlos Resende, while Fabio Magalhaes commented:
“I’m very pleased to be here, seeing the growth of these guys. I have the opportunity to train with them in the club and the national team, and they are doing a good job.
“They are going to achieve great things in the future. They will have to start now in their own home, playing this important competition, and make the best job they can.”
Denmark are the record winners of the M20 EHF EURO, with four titles and six medals overall. Germany have won three times, Spain twice and Slovenia, Poland and Yugoslavia each once.