Australian teams qualify for Beach Handball World Championships

Australian player dive shoots past a diving New Zealand defender

The Australian Men’s and Women’s teams successfully qualified for the 2016 Beach Handball World Championship, last weekend in Gold Coast, in a two-match play-off with New Zealand.

In the women’s division, the more experienced Australian side proved too strong for the New Zealanders, comfortably winning all four periods in both matches: 24:2 and 20:5 in the first game, and 16:0 and 14:4 in the follow-up match.

It wasn’t such smooth sailing for the Australian men however. Having won the first period of the first match by only one goal (12:11), the Australians faced a more motivated New Zealand team in the second period. The Kiwis dominated after the break, winning 24:12, and also took out the subsequent penalty shoot-out (7:4) to finish 2:1, to be placed with a good chance of gaining their first World Championship qualification.

Match two was a repeat of the previous game’s excitement with both teams determined to outplay one-another. In the end, Australia prevailed with narrow wins in both periods at 2:0 (18:17 and 11:8) to give them three of the four periods overall and therefore qualify for the international event.

The world championship will be held in Budapest, Hungary from 12 to 17 July of this year.

The Australian Women’s team:

Aline Viana (NSW)
Vanja Smiljanic (VIC)
Daniela Cook (NSW)
Rosalie Boyd (QLD)
Madeleine McAfee (QLD)
Emma Guignard (NSW)
Allira Hudson-Gofers (NSW) 
Birte Biehler (SA)
Heather Cooper (QLD)
Tanya Beths (QLD)
Amy Beths (QLD)
Aminta Thomas (NSW)

The Australian Men’s team:

Chris Mottin (VIC)
Scott Nicholson (NSW)
Andrew Kelso (VIC)
Dejan Bojic (VIC)
James Brennan (VIC)
Daniel Fogarty (NSW)
Matthew Campbell (VIC)
Ben Dawson (QLD)
Lucas Turecek (SA)
Stephane Blaise (NSW)
Daniel Epstein (VIC)
Oliver Machell (WA)

Photo credit: Jun Tanlayco Sports Images