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For the first time ever, the World School Championship (WSC) in handball was being held outside of Europe. To be exact, the 24th edition of WSC Handball was hosted by Doha, Qatar and organised by the Qatar School Sport Federation, Qatar Olympic Committee and Qatar Handball Association.
In addition to LOC, International Handball Federation joined ISF in strengthening the reach of School Sport Handball by live streaming all matches from Ali Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah (Hall 1). The finals were additionally supported by Olympic Channel.
Twenty-one countries from four continents took part at an event which, over the course of 7 days, celebrated and strengthened the impact of Education through Sport, and handball.
The WSC began on February 21 with the arrival of 18 boys' and 18 girls' teams, with youth athletes aged 16-18, from 21 different countries. Opening Ceremony took place the next day, moments after the first, preliminary round matches, which throughout the competition were being hosted by Ali bin Hamad Al-Attiyah and Aspire Dome Sports Arenas.
Qatar was the only representative of Asia, while Brazil carried the glory for Pan America and Morocco, the host of the upcoming Gymnasiade, took the honour of being the only team representing Africa. All other teams came from the cradle of handball - Europe.
The newly-crowned, 2018 ISF World School Handball Champions are Hungary and Austria.
From the start on, the teams from Germany, Austria and Hungary took the lead and proved they will be the contenders for the top places. Germany was dominating the field and had both teams reaching the finals. But last day of the competition saw a strong performance from the Hungarian girls who won with 30:17, and a "fight 'til the end" boys match where Austria took the title after the shoot-outs (and a great defence by their goalkeeper).
The MVPs of WSC became T. Matzken ( Germany) and T. Pal (Hungary).
FULL RESULTS BELOW
During the championship, ISF and the organisers have been honoured by the visit of three, current and former, professional handball players who took on the role of educating and inspiring young players as the official ambassadors of the championship
Mr Bogdan Wenta, former professional player for Germany and Poland, and head coach of Polish National handball Team, today the member of European Parliament and the Vice-President of Sports Intergroup of EP.
Daouda Karaboue, professional handball player for French National handball team, and a two-time Olympic (2008, 2012) and two-time IHR Worlds (2009, 2011) Champion with Team France.
Bertrand Roine, French-born professional handball player for Al Ahly and Qatar National Team, 2011 IHF World Champion with Team France and a silver medallist with Qatar from 2015 World. In 2016 he took part at Rio Olympics with Qatar.
On the final day, Daouda Karaboue took the time to deliver a master class in goalkeeping for ISF youth and shared his knowledge with the young goalkeepers, girls and boys, who'll might day follow his footsteps all the way to the Olympics. You can watch the archive video here.
Besides being a great host and making sure ISF youth experiences a high-level competition, Qatar also won the prestigious Joy of Moving trophy for Fair play supported by our partner the Kinder+Sport program.
Students spent Sunday evening getting to know Qatar, and each other, by celebrating the cultural exchange at the Cultural and Educational Festival.
The championship in Doha was a great experience for all participants and a big success for the organisers. In terms of online media, the event has been by almost half million people.
In case you missed it, you can watch the replays of matches at the IHF Facebook: Live stream archive.
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