Asun Batista and Gabriel Conceição shine at EHF Excellence Awards Gala

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EHF / Adrian Costeiu

Beach handball has been getting more and more popular over the last years, with successful events taking place both at the club level and at the national team level. It has also been the case in the 2022/23 season, with the EHF Beach Handball Champions Cup 2022 and the EHF Beach Handball EURO 2023 taking place over the last months in Nazaré, Portugal.

Some of the best names in beach handball have been present in the tournaments, which have been a resounding success, and the time came for the best players in both men’s and women’s beach handball to be honoured at the inaugural EHF Excellence Awards Gala, which took place on Monday, 26 June, in the Marx-Halle in Vienna.

MVP+MVP = Award at the EHF Excellence Gala

Beach handball was not overlooked at the EHF Excellence Awards Gala, with the top stars of the sport being celebrated during the event in Vienna. María Asunción Batista Portero, who secured the MVP award at the Women’s EHF Beach Handball EURO 2023, and at the EHF Beach Handball Champions Cup 2022, added another trophy to her cabinet, capping off an absolutely excellent season.

Batista had 168 points in the club competition, for CATS A.M. Team Almeria, being a crucial player for her team and the top scorer of the competition, also starred for Spain, with 135 points at the Women’s EHF Beach Handball EURO. With two top scorer awards in two major competitions, she was the logical pick for the EHF Excellence Awards.

“I am so happy to be here and it is so nice to mix indoor handball with beach handball at this kind of event, because we can raise awareness and make our sport even more popular,” said Batista, after receiving the award.

“It is a beautiful sport, an amazing sport, for me beach handball is a spectacular sport, is a dynamic sport. The environment is amazing, it is all about passion. If I described beach handball into a single word, it would be simple: my life,” added the Spanish player.

Conceição, the youngest winner at the EHF Excellence Awards Gala

The inaugural EHF Excellence Awards Gala also set aside an award for the best beach handball player in the last season and it was sealed by Portugal’s rising star Gabriel Conceição.

Only 18 years old, Conceição established his name at the Men’s EHF Beach Handball EURO 2023, when he was named the MVP, with a strong backing from the fans. Once again, the Portugal player has seen his stock rising, now being rewarded after an excellent performance, helping Portugal seal the fourth place in the competition.

“I am also an indoor handball player and it is difficult to choose between the two sports. If I can play both, I will always play both, because they are my passion, I love handball,” said Conceição.

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