BAHRAIN bowed to European powerhouses Denmark 29-36 yesterday in the International Handball Federation (IHF) Men’s Youth (U19) World Championship, being played in North Macedonia.
The result was the fourth straight loss for the Bahrainis and it ended their campaign in Group ‘C’ of the competition’s preliminary round. They finished the stage with just one victory, and now move on to the classification group for 17th to 20th places overall.
Following a rest today, Bahrain’s next match will be tomorrow against Serbia in their first fixture of the next stage. The Bahrainis are now vying for the President’s Cup, which goes to the team placed 17th overall at the end of the tournament.
The Danes, on the other hand, remained unbeaten in five contests following their victory over Bahrain. They move on to the Round of 16 as Group ‘C’ winners. Also joining them from this division were Japan, Argentina and hosts North Macedonia.
Also advancing to the Round of 16 from the other groups were Croatia, Spain, Norway and Slovenia from Group ‘A’; Egypt, Sweden, France and Hungary from Group ‘B’; and Portugal, Germany, Iceland and Tunisia from Group ‘D’.
Bahrain fell behind early against Denmark and never recovered. After the Danes turned a 2-2 tie to a 5-2 advantage with three straight goals, they took full control of the game. Bahrain valiantly battled back to within three, 12-15, before the half-time interval, but that was the closest they would get for the remainder of the match.
Denmark closed the half with back-to-back goals to go into the break with a 17-12 advantage, and in the second half never took their foot off the gas until the final whistle.
Adel Afrooz led Bahrain’s scorers with six goals, while Mohamed Rabia had four and Moayed Shuaib, Husain Khamis, and Mohamed Mohamed finished with three apiece. Contributing two goals each were Ali Fuad, Qasim Qambar, Ali Ali and Jasim Khamis. Mujtaba Alzaimoor and Ali Mohamed completed Bahrain’s scoresheet with a goal apiece.
Oliver Wosniak paced Denmark with eight goals, while Lauritz Reinholdt Leger added seven and Mads Hoxer Hangaard had six.
Bahrain are one of 24 national teams from all across the globe in the biennial International Handball Federation (IHF) tournament. The Bahrainis are coached by Halldor Johann Sigfusson, who is from Iceland and who was a former player.
Bahrain are taking part in the youth world championship for the fourth time. Their best finish was eighth in the 2007 event, which was held in Bahrain.