The Canadian Men’s Jr. Team participated at the International Handball Federation (IHF) Junior World Championships in Greece. They placed 22nd out of 24 teams with an overall record of 1-0-6. In Group Play they were not competitive, losing by an average score of 20-47. In consolation play they fared better beating African representative Benin and losing to Chile in an overtime penalty shootout. Casper Bilton, who plays club handball in Denmark, led the team in scoring for the tournament with 36 goals. Alexandre Touzel was the 2nd leading scorer with 21 goals.
The IHF website and French handball website, Handzone, have a couple of feature articles on the team and it’s noted that each player had to pay around $10,000 (Canadian dollars) to participate in qualification competition in Venezuela and the final tournament in Greece.
Handzone Article:”Tough learning for Canada” http://www.handzone.net/asp.net/main.news/news.aspx?id=55715
IHF: “Canada: Our boys are fantastic”: http://www.ihf.info//MediaCenter/News/NewsDetails/tabid/130/Default.aspx?ID=722
There’s also some pretty good footage from the match against Chile available on Youtube.
Video Highlights (Canada vs. Chile): http://www.youtube.com/user/GreeceHandball2011#p/u/18/cWWxNNj8FV8
Commentary: While the results for the Canadian team weren’t the best, from an American perspective it’s worth noting that are neighbors to the North were still able to put together a team of 19 and 20 year olds to participate in it. Judging by the footage of the Chile match this was a credible team that knows how to play handball. Not to mention the fact that a few of these players are already contributing members of their senior national team.
At this point in time I think the U.S. would be hard pressed to put together a similar team. Other than our collegiate programs at West Point, Air Force and North Carolina we only have a few other players scattered around the country and a few based in Europe. I doubt also, whether we have very many players willing to shell out around $10,000 to play. In short, our talent pool is thinner and without some European transplants we may have well lost to Benin and Chile by 10 goals. But, I could be wrong about this. Perhaps we should start a yearly competitive series for Junior and Youth teams against Canada at Lake Placid/Montreal in the Summer months to find out.
Canada Results (Group Play)
Portugal 17:49 (5:25)
Sweden 20:40 (10:20)
Hungary 21:42 (9:19)
Iran 24:45 (16:25)
Spain 17:54 (11:27)
Benin 23:22 (12:12) (Crossover 21-24th place)
Chile 26:27 (10:11) (Match for 22nd place)
Canadian Roster: http://www.ihf.info/files/CompetitionData/119/pdf/CAN.pdf
Canadian Cumulative Stats: http://www.ihf.info/files/CompetitionData/119/pdf/CANTOTAL.pdf