2019 sports yearender: Egypt's feats in handball

Ahram Online , Thursday 26 Dec 2019

In a series of articles, Ahram Online compiles the remarkable sporting events of 2019

Egyptian Handball Team
(Photo: Al-Ahram)

The year saw Egypt's handball teams making astounding feats. The U19 team won the World Championship, the U21 team snatched a World bronze, and the national team came out eighth in the World Championship.

The story began in January when the Pharaohs finished eighth in the World Championship -- their best record since winning the fourth place in the 2001 edition in France.

The Pharaohs produced a string of fine displays during the World competition and they were close to securing a place in the 2020 Olympic Games, but they lost to Spain 36-31 in their seventh-place playoff in the World Championship, held in Denmark.

Despite missing out on a chance for an automatic spot in the Olympics, the Pharaohs' eighth place in the World Championship revealed that they are on the right track.

Egypt will have the chance of representing the continent in Tokyo if they win the Africa Cup of Nations, set to be played in Tunisia in January 2020.

In July, Egypt's U21 team clinched the bronze medal of the U21 World Championship in Spain after thrashing Portugal 37-27 in their third place playoff.

The Egyptian team started the World competition in style, having won all their games in the group stage.

They defeated Serbia 30-29 in the round of 16 before beating Norway 29-27 in the quarters.

But the Pharaohs' winning streak in the tournament ended in the semi-finals when they slumped to 35-33 loss to France that won the World title.

Two weeks later, the Egyptian handball saw its biggest achievement since 1993 when the U19 team won the World Championship after defeating Germany 32-28 in the final in Macedonia.

The Pharaohs' coach Magdi Abul-Magd, who was a member of the Egypt's U 21 team that won the World title in 1993, guided his team to win the U19 World Championship title after 26 years.

It was the first time Egypt won an U 19 World Championship title and the first time a non-European team be crowned World Champions since its creation in 2005.

Ahmed Hesham was named the World Championship's best player after producing some impressive displays while teammate Hassan Walid Ahmed won the top scorer award with 51 goals.   

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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