PanAmerican representatives meet expectations in World Juniors

The Women's World Junior Championship in Korea is about to move on from the prelimary groups the 'main round' and the placement matches. The field is this time expanded from 20 to 24 teams, and PanAmerica has four representatives, in order of seeding: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Greenland. Generally speaking, these teams have done about as well as one could expect from them. They placed 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th respectively, in their groups of six teams.

Greenland had a tough group, so their results are not surprising; they will now play for 21-24th place and face the Democratic Republic of Congo next. Mexico won against Hongkong in their group, which in itself may not be remarkable; however, it was still a cause for celebration, as it was Mexico's first win ever in a World Championship of any category. They now go on to play Thailand in their first game in the fight for 17th-20th place.

Argentina might be disappointed that they were not able to duplicate their feat from 2008, when they advanced to the main round and finished 12th. They were in a strong grooup and had narrow losses against both Korea and Croatia, but they now have to play for the 13th-16th places. Brazil has a 9th place to defend from 2008, and this is perhaps the best they can hope for this time again. They surprised in the early going, by getting ties against both Hungary and Spain, the two teams that now join them from their group into the main round. This means that they bring 2 points with them, but they now face three difficult opponents in Russia, Sweden and Montenegro.

It is worth noting that no less than 8 of the 12 teams qualifying for the main round are repeating that achievement from 2008. Argentina being knocked out by the Netherlands and France losing to Serbia are two of the four changes. Another one involves Angola being beaten by Sweden. This means that this time there are only two non-European teams among the top 12. The remaining change from last time is that, in a remarkable way, one Scandinavian top women's nation replaces another. In 2008, Norway failed to qualify while Denmark placed 4th; this time it is Denmark's turn to sit at home watching, while Norway won its preliminary group and looks to have good chances.

We keep our fingers crossed for the Panamerican teams and will report back later about their final rankings!