Canada – Handball Team News

Eduarda “Duda” Amorim and Brazil are overwhelming favorites to win gold

The 2019 Pan American Games (PANAM) officially open on Friday, July 26, but the women’s team handball competition will begin two days earlier. Here is some key information about the tournament and the nations that will be taking part.

What’s at stake: The winner of the tournament will automatically qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The finalist will be guaranteed a place in an Olympic qualifying tournament to be held in the spring of 2020. Additionally, there is a chance that 3rd place will also get a ticket to an Olympic qualifying spot, but that won’t be known until after the 2019 World Championships in December.

The format: The eight nations qualified for the competition were split into two groups of four. Each group will play a round robin. The top two nations in each group will then advance to the semi-finals and the bottom two nations will advance to the consolation semi-finals. The winners of the semi-finals will play for gold while the losers of the semi-finals will play for bronze.

Program:

Group game on Wednesday July 24
Thursday, July 25 group game
Friday July 26
Group game on Saturday July 27
Sunday July 28
Monday July 29 Semi-finals
Classification matches on Tuesday 30 July

Details: link
(Note: Lima, Peru is 1 hour behind US ET)

where to watch: The Pan American Sports Organization has a new online channel, but it is not known which matches will be broadcast. An earlier advisory said handball matches would not be shown until after the women’s semi-finals. In the United States, ESPN owns the rights to all PANAM Games content and has signaled that it will air content on ESPN Deportes and its OTT platform, ESPN+. Again, it’s unclear if and when handball will be shown. (Check back here on the Team Handball News Facebook or Twitter pages for updates)

PANAM sports channel: Link

Team Profiles (Group A)

Brazil
How qualified: 1st place at the South American Games
Recent Pan Am Results:
– 2015 Pan American Championship: 1st
– 2015 Pan American Games: 1st
– 2017 Pan American Championship: 1st
– South and Central American Championship 2018: 1st
key player: Left back, Eduarda “Duda” Amorim is considered one of the best players in the world.
Outlook: To say that Brazilian women have dominated the Pan American handball competitions is almost an understatement. In several Pan American competitions over the past 10 years, they are undefeated. They are the clear favorites to win the tournament.

Porto Rico
How qualified: 2n/a place at the Central American and Caribbean Games
Recent Pan Am Results:
– 2015 Pan American Championship: 4and
– 2015 Pan American Games: 6and
– 2017 Pan American Championship: 6and
– 2019 North American and Caribbean Championship: 2n/a
key player: Backcourt, Nathalys Ceballos, was their main offensive weapon.
Outlook: Puerto Rico came within 3 goals of qualifying for the 2019 World Championships, losing to Cuba 27-24. They will seek to avenge this loss as a group in what will likely be a 2-hour showdown.n/a place in the Group.

Cuba
How qualified: 3rd place at the Central American and Caribbean Games
Recent Pan Am Results:
– 2015 Pan American Championship: 2nd
– 2015 Pan American Games: 5th
– 2017 Pan American Championship: did not participate
– 2019 North American and Caribbean Championship: 1st
key player: Left-back Lizandra Lusson has been Cuba’s top scorer for several years. She was the top scorer at the 2015 PANAM Games and led her country in scoring at the 2015 World Championships.
Outlook: Cuba’s up and down performance can be directly correlated to whether or not their top Europe-based players are present. If they do, Cuba might just have the 2n/a best team in the tournament.

Canada
How qualified: 1st place at 2n/a Chance Qualifying Tournament
Recent Pan Am Results:
– 2015 Pan American Championship: 10and
– 2015 Pan American Games: 7th
– 2017 Pan American Championship: did not participate
– 2019 North American and Caribbean Championship: 7and
Outlook: The Canadians were beaten by the USA in the North American qualifier, but bounced back to win the 2n/a chance tournament. They are younger and will be looking to improve on their disappointing performances earlier this year at the North American Championship.

Team Profiles (Group B)

Argentina
How qualified: 2n/a place at the South American Games
Recent Pan Am Results:
– 2015 Pan American Championship: 3rd
– 2015 Pan American Games: 2n/a
– 2017 Pan American Championship: 2n/a
– South and Central American Championship 2018: 2n/a
key player: Right-back Luciano Mendoza has been Argentina’s top scorer for several years and Elke Karsten is a rising player who was recently signed by Hungarian club Debrecen.
Outlook: Argentine women have been Brazil’s eternal bridesmaid in just about every Pan Am competition for the past 20 years. They are the favorites to win Group B and if they do, it could mean a semi-final match against Cuba.

UNITED STATES
How qualified: Defeat Canada in the North American Qualifying Series
Recent Pan Am Results:
– 2015 Pan American Championship: 10and
– 2015 Pan American Games: did not qualify
– 2017 Pan American Championship: 5and
– 2019 North American and Caribbean Championship: 5and
Key players: The central defender, Jence Rhoads, is the conductor of the American attack. Left back, Nicole Andersen is the best striker.
Outlook: USA Women failed to qualify for the 2015 PANAM Games and following this disappointment they decided to return in 2019. Mission accomplished, but they would like to do more than just compete and are focused on a place in the semis -final. The American women will be under the control of Argentina, but a solid defensive performance coupled with a consistent offensive attack might come as a surprise. Barring an upset there, they will have to beat the Dominican Republic to reach the semi-finals.

Dominican Republic
How qualified: 1st place at the Central American and Caribbean Games
Recent Pan Am Results:
– 2015 Pan American Championship: Did not participate
– 2015 Pan American Games: did not qualify
– 2017 Pan American Championship: 8and
– 2019 North American and Caribbean Championship: 4and
Key players: Wings, Nancy Pena and Yojaver Brito have done most of the scoring for the Dominican Republic in their recent competitions.
Outlook: In 2014, the Dominican Republic were banned from Pan American competition for playing older players at the Women’s Youth Championship they hosted in 2010. Their program is rebounding as evidenced by winning the title at the Central American and Caribbean Games. A potential confrontation with the United States for 2n/a place looms on Thursday.

Peru
How qualified: Host country
Recent Pan Am Results:
– 2015 Pan American Championship: Did not participate
– 2015 Pan American Games: did not participate
– 2017 Pan American Championship: did not participate
– South and Central American Championship 2018: Did not participate
Key players: Unknown
Outlook: Peru qualified as hosts and until recently didn’t even seem to have had a women’s national team. At the 2018 South American Games, they lost an average of 37 goals against Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. This lack of experience will be difficult to overcome, so playing competitive matches and maybe winning a consolation match is the best outcome one can expect.