2017 IHF Men’s Junior (U21) World Championship, Algeria

A collection of all the articles written by me during the 2017 IHF Men’s Junior (U20) World Championship in Algiers, Algeria. From July 18 to 30 I was based in Algiers, Algeria covering Groups A and B, and the finals.

“We can be a very dangerous predator”
Slovenia goalkeeper Urh Kastelic has played a key part in their 2017 IHF Men’s Junior (U21) World Championship campaign and ranks first in his position at Algeria 2017. At 21, the keeper already has an impressive collection of medals, including gold at the 2013 European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) and 2014 Youth Olympic Games, silver at the 2015 IHF Men’s Youth World Championship, and bronze with the senior Slovenia side at the 25th IHF Men’s World Championship in France this January.

Developing through valuable international experience
ihf.info spoke with coach Erik Wudtke following their victory against the Faroe Islands – which was secured only in the final 10 minutes after a close fight – about their campaign so far, the challenges of developing Junior age category teams, and the upcoming clash with Norway.

Richardson: “All the teams are very strong”
ihf.info spoke with centre back Melvyn Richardson following the win against Asian champions Qatar. Richardson was named both the Most Valuable Player and as part of the All-star team at Russia 2015, and is a key part of France’s campaign in Algeria 2017.

One game at a time on historic debut
Faroe Islands entered the 2017 IHF Men’s Junior (U21) World Championship as debutants at a major international tournament, and had a dream start when they recorded two victories to open their campaign.

“Maybe after 60 years I’ll still be learning”
Egypt coach Wael Aly was at the helm of the Junior national team when they claimed the African nation’s first ever IHF World Championship title in 1993. He was also the man in charge when Egypt finished fourth at the 2015 IHF Men’s Junior World Championship in Brazil, and now leads the team at Algeria 2017 – where the African side are in a position they never have been before, and will miss out on the top 16.

Match previews/reviews:
Spain win maiden Junior world title
Spain claimed their first ever IHF Junior World Championship title after an incredible 70-minute battle, which ended with goalkeeper Xoan Ledo saving every shot in the last three minutes of extra time and Daniel Dujshebaev scoring the game-winning goal.

France claim bronze in final seconds
The 2017 IHF Men’s Junior (U21) World Championship bronze medal was decided in a thrilling game, with France claiming the place on the podium thanks to a one-goal win secured with a save from Julien Meyer in the dying seconds.

Spain aim for first ever Junior title
The 2017 IHF Men’s Junior (U21) World Championship final sees three-time champions Denmark taking on Spain in the battle for the title, with Spain hoping to continue their exceptional undefeated run through the tournament all the way to the podium.

Denmark eliminate defending champions France
Denmark claimed the first ticket to the 2017 IHF Men’s Junior (U21) World Championship final after a tough 60 minutes against France, thanks to the use of a tactical seven-on-six attacking game and a strong performance from goalkeeper Simon Gade.

Spain repeat EHF EURO victory
The second 2017 IHF Men’s Junior World Championship semi-final ended with a clear win for Spain, who beat their Men’s 20 EHF EURO 2016 final opponents by five goals to claim a place in the trophy match.

European championship finalists contest penultimate match
Two years ago, it was France and Denmark that contested the IHF Men’s Junior (U21) World Championship title in Brazil – and now those same nations meet in the penultimate match at Algeria 2017 to decide one ticket to the final. After France and Denmark play their Algeria 2017 Group B rematch, Men’s 20 EHF EURO 2016 finalists Germany and Spain take the court for the second.

Unstoppable Germany and Spain book semi-final spots
Germany played a perfect quarter-final match against Tunisia to claim a place in the 2017 IHF Men’s Junior World Championship semi-final. The Men’s 20 EHF EURO 2016 silver medallists beat the African team by a six-goal margin, before their semi-final opponent was decided in a match that went into extra time.

EHF EURO 2016 finalists ready for quarter-finals
The gold and silver medallists at the last European championship for the 1996-born generation take the court for the 2017 IHF Men’s Junior (U21) World Championship quarter-finals in La Coupole D’Alger Arena, with Germany meeting African champions Tunisia and Spain taking on Hungary.

France, Germany, Hungary and Denmark book quarter-final spots
France beat debutants Faroe Islands in the first eighth-final in La Coupole, before Germany and Hungary record wins in extra time, and Denmark beat Norway.

Defending champions open eighth-finals in La Coupole
The 2017 IHF Men’s Junior (U21) World Championship eighth-finals in La Coupole D’Alger Arena feature the 2015 Junior and Youth World Championship finalists, the Men’s 20 EHF EURO 2016 silver medallists and debutants Faroe Islands.

20 EHF EURO 2016 runners-up win Group A
Round 5 for 2017 IHF Men’s Junior (U21) World Championship saw wins for Germany, Hungary and Republic of Korea.

Slovenia and France unbeaten through group phase
Slovenia opened the final day of 2017 IHF Men’s Junior (U21) World Championship group phase matches at La Coupole D’Alger Arena with a three-goal win against Sweden, which moved them up to nine points on the table after an undefeated preliminary round. France joined Slovenia on nine points after their victory against Denmark, and secured first place in the group based on goal difference.

Top-of-the-table clashes headline Round 5
Round 4 for Groups A and B at the 2017 IHF Men’s Junior (U21) World Championship is all about placement on the preliminary round tables. 2015 Youth World Championship finalists France and Slovenia race to top Group B, while Germany and Norway meet for a head-to-head clash to determine first place in Group A.

Faroe Islands and Hungary claim eighth-final spots
Norway opened Group A at the 2017 IHF Men’s Junior (U21) World Championship with a decisive win against Chile, before Germany defeated Faroe Islands after a tough 60 minutes.

France and Slovenia play thrilling draw
2015 Youth World Championship finalist squads France and Slovenia opened Round 3 for Group B at the 2017 IHF Men’s Junior (U21) World Championship with a thrilling draw after Slovenia equalised in the last three minutes. The teams also drew when they met in the group stage at Russia 2015, with a final score of 32:32 in that encounter before France won the trophy match.

Three in a row for Germany and Norway
Germany opened Round 3 for Group A at the 2017 IHF Men’s Junior (U21) World Championship with a clear win against Republic of Korea. The second match saw World Championship debutants Faroe Islands’ first defeat at the hands of Norway, who in turn recorded their third win from three matches and moved up to six points.

Denmark clinch eighth-final berth
Denmark secured their eighth-finals place as they opened Round 4 for Group B at the 2017 IHF Men’s Junior (U21) World Championship with a comfortable victory over Sweden, which brought their points tally to six on the Group B table. In the final game of the day, Slovenia faced a tough challenge against Egypt, but ultimately overcame the African team and joined France on seven points.

Qatar and Egypt under pressure
With two tickets to the eighth-finals still to be decided in Group B ahead of Round 4, day five at the 2017 IHF Men’s Junior (U21) World Championship sees some crucial encounters as Denmark meet Sweden, Qatar take on France and Slovenia play Egypt.

Crunch time in Group A
With Norway and Germany safely through to the 2017 IHF Men’s Junior (U21) World Championship eighth-finals, and Faroe Islands in a good position to make it to the knock-out stage on their debut at a major international tournament, Republic of Korea, Hungary and Chile enter Round 4 under pressure.

2015 Youth finalists open day four at La Coupole
Day four at the 2017 IHF Men’s Junior (U21) World Championship in La Coupole D’Alger Arena opens with a bang as 2015 Youth World Championship finalists France and Slovenia take the court for the first match. Following the meeting of these undefeated sides, Denmark look for their second victory against Qatar, before Sweden do the same versus Egypt in Group B.

Two from two for Norway, Germany and Faroe Islands
Norway opened Round 2 for Group A at the 2017 IHF Men’s Junior (U21) World Championship with a clear victory versus Hungary, before Germany followed suit with an even more significant win against Chile. Both teams thereby earned their second set of two points, and moved up to four points on the table.

Debutants Faroe Islands look for second victory
The 2017 IHF Men’s Junior (U21) World Championship continues in La Coupole D’Alger Arena with Group A matches, where Hungary, Chile and Republic of Korea aim for their first victories against Norway, Germany and Faroe Islands respectively.

France and Slovenia unbeaten in Group B
Day two in competitive Group B at the 2017 IHF Men’s Junior (U21) World Championship opened with a clear win for Denmark, who beat a motivated Egypt side by six to claim their first two points at Algeria 2017. The second match of the day saw a close contest between France and Sweden, with France recording their second victory at Algeria 2017.

Defending champions begin with victory
Defending champions France opened their 2017 IHF Men’s Junior World Championship campaign with a clear win over Egypt that put their first two points on the Group B table. Following the victory of France’s 1996-born squad, their 2015 Youth World Championship final opponents, Slovenia defeated Denmark after a close contest that ended with a three-goal margin.

Faroe Islands win debut World Championship match
The 2017 IHF Men’s Junior (U21) World Championship opened in La Coupole D’Alger Arena with a thrilling Group A clash between Germany and Hungary, which ended with a four-goal difference in favour of Germany. Norway followed Germany’s victory with a narrow win after a nail-biting 60 minutes versus Republic of Korea. Faroe Islands wrapped up Round One for Group A with a win against Chile, making their debut at a major international tournament all but perfect.


Tour Amigo: Destination Guides project

One of my major projects this spring was writing for the updated Tour Amigo website. Tour Amigo is an Australian start-up made for those who like to travel on a tour, where you can enter your chosen destination(s) and receive a complete list of all itineraries that stop in those places from a variety of companies and operators including Contiki, TopDeck, Intrepid and many more.

I have been working with Tour Amigo since the middle of 2015, contributing posts for their travel blog regularly before the upgrade to their website earlier this year. This involved rewriting the previous destination guides to create three different SEO-ed sections on each nation.

Writing about travel is perhaps the most non-work feeling work there is. I wrote the content for almost 50 countries as part of this project, and learned so much about each of them — even those I knew well thanks to my own travels there. The original content was provided largely by former tour guides, who really knew their stuff after months or years of leading these itineraries.

If you would like to read a few samples of my work for this project, you can check them out below.

Elephants in Botswana

BotswanaEgyptKenyaMalawiMoroccoNamibiaSouth AfricaTanzaniaUgandaZambia

IndiaLaosMyanmarNepalSri LankaVietnam

Central America
Costa RicaGuatemala

Weaving in Guatemala

South America

AustriaBelgiumBosnia-HerzegovinaCroatiaCzech RepublicFranceGermany,

norway-2708286_1280Fjords in Norway

AustraliaNew Zealand

All photos from Pixabay.com.


Women’s EHF EURO 2014

A collection of all the articles written by me during the Women’s EHF EURO 2014 in Hungary and Croatia. From December 3 to 22 I was based in Györ, Debrecen and Budapest covering Group A, Main Round Group I and the final weekend.

Neagu wraps it up for Romania
FEATURE: After a mixed tournament of surprise wins and disappointment, Romania’s Cristina Neagu talks about the EHF EURO 2014 from her perspective.

Tomori: “One person alone cannot replace Anita”
FEATURE: In the absence of Anita Görbicz, Hungary’s new captain Zsuzsanna Tomori is leading her national team through one of its most challenging tournaments, as the co-hosts face high expectations.

EHF Master Coach and Licensing Course concludes in Györ
The participants of the Open Master Coach and Licensing Course, including THW Kiel coach Alfred Gislason, received their qualifications as the course closed on Saturday.

Dmitrieva’s flawless debut
NEWS REPORT: 19-year-old Daria Dmitrieva was top scorer of the match and best player for Russia in her first official international on Sunday.

Huge coverage and exciting arenas
NEWS REPORT: The Women’s EHF EURO 2014 was officially opened in Györ on Sunday with a press conference attended by representatives of the EHF and the Hungarian Handball Federation.

Final stage of EHF Master Coach and Licensing Course opens
EHF President Jean Brihault opened the third and final module of the EHF RINCK Convention Open Master Coach and Licensing Course in Györ on Saturday.

Match previews and reviews:
Norway win sixth EHF EURO gold
REVIEW: Norway claimed their sixth EHF EURO title in Budapest on Sunday, defeating Spain 28:25 thanks to a strong second half after trailing by two at half-time.

A chance to make history
PREVIEW: When Spain take to the court against Norway for the EHF EURO 2014 Final, they have the opportunity to win gold for the first time – and they are ready to grab that chance.

Handball media take their turn on the court
The EHF EURO 2014 handball media took to the court on Saturday for an entertaining match featuring two goalkeepers in shorts, horror movie theme music and dancing referees.

France too strong for Hungary
REVIEW: France won fifth place in the final EHF EURO 2014 ranking with a 26:25 victory against Hungary in Budapest on Friday.

‘Guerreras’ stun Denmark to take semi-final spot
MATCH REVIEW: A deserved 29:22 win against Denmark in Debrecen on Wednesday earned Spain the remaining semi-final ticket from Main Round Group I.

Denmark and Spain fight for Budapest
PREVIEW: When the final EHF EURO 2014 Main Round matches take place in Debrecen on Wednesday, all eyes will be on Denmark and Spain as they fight for Group I’s remaining semi-final spot.

Hungary’s hopes crushed after defeat against Denmark
MATCH REVIEW: Strategic Denmark have ended Hungary’s dreams of reaching the semi-final, defeating the EHF EURO 2014 co-hosts 23:20 in Main Round Group I in Debrecen.

Ungureanu brilliance helps Romania shock Spain
MATCH REVIEW: Romania have won the first of Group I’s second round matches on Monday, defeating Spain 22:20 in an outstanding defensive and goalkeeping battle.

Norway start main round with a thrilling victory
MATCH REVIEW: Norway emerged the victors in Group I’s second main round match on Saturday, recording a 29:26 win against Spain as their unbeaten EHF EURO 2014 run continues.

The main round begins with big matches in Debrecen
PREVIEW: Undefeated Spain and Norway will meet in their first match of the main round when the next phase of the tournament begins on Saturday.

Spain pull off thrilling win against Hungary
MATCH REVIEW: Spain have taken the last two points up for grabs in Group A thanks to a thrilling 27:26 victory over Hungary.

Determined Poland through to main round
MATCH REVIEW: Russia are out of the EHF EURO and Poland progress to the main round after taking a 29:26 win in a very physical Group A match.

Hungary show their true form and qualify for the main round
MATCH REVIEW: Fans in Audi Arena had something to celebrate on Tuesday as Hungary recorded a 29:23 win against Poland, booking Group A’s second ticket to the main round.

Spain first in Group A to make it to main round
MATCH REVIEW: Tuesday’s first Group A match ended with a 25:24 victory to Spain, who have now qualified for the main round and leave Russia to determine their fate on Thursday.

Russia keen to build on promising draw
PREVIEW: Close matches are expected in Tuesday’s Group A matches, while wins for Norway and Denmark could secure two of Group B’s main round spots for the Scandinavian sides.

Tense match between Hungary and Russia ends in a draw
MATCH REVIEW: Hungary began their EHF EURO 2014 campaign with an exciting 29:29 draw against Group A opponent Russia in Györ on Sunday.

Spain unstoppable against Poland
MATCH REVIEW: Spain recorded a 29:22 win against Poland in the opening Women’s EHF EURO 2014 Group A match in Györ on Sunday.

Portfolio · Work

22nd IHF Women’s World Championship, Denmark 2015

A collection of my articles written during the 22nd IHF Women’s Handball World Championship held in Denmark in December 2015. From December 3 to 21 I was based in Kolding then Herning, covering preliminary round Groups A and C, the knock-out round and finals. 

Features and interviews:
The Influence of Positive Coaching at Denmark 2015
Denmark 2015: Coaches, players and psychologists discuss the importance of a positive, equal relationship between athletes and their coaches.

To the stars of tomorrow
Denmark 2015: Bulatovic, Gullden, Achruk and Chebbah share their advice and stories about how to make it to the top.

“I feel that we can do more”
Denmark 2015: Romania knocked out hosts Denmark to secure their place in the Semi-Finals, but they are not done yet.

“We play with heart; we play for our country”
Denmark 2015: Poland’s Kinga Achruk talks about their Eighth-Final win against Hungary, and the importance of the bond within the team.

Toumi Bids Farewell to the Tunisia Jersey
Denmark 2015: After an incredible 18 years representing Tunisia, Raja Toumi played her final match for her country in Herning on Monday.

The story of Mwasesa
Denmark 2015: The story of a girl from DR Congo, who became one of the most successful players in the French league and the captain of her national team.

“Physical strength will be the key to success”
Denmark 2015: Korea coach Young Chul Lim talks tactics, the future of his team and the road to Rio 2016.

The Group Phase Wrap-Up
Denmark 2015: Summary and key statistics as the final matches of the preliminary round finish and the knock-out round begins.

Argentina’s Big Year Continues
Denmark 2015: This year Argentina have celebrated two Olympic qualifications, and increasingly stronger performances from their national teams.

Kolding welcomes the handball world
Denmark 2015: The city of Kolding adds the 2015 IHF Women’s World Championship to its already strong history of handball-mania.

Continued Focus on Pivot Contact at Denmark 2015
The final countdown for the 22nd IHF Women’s World Championship has begun as referees complete their last preparations.

Previews and reviews:
Grimsbø Shines as Norway Claim the Title
Denmark 2015: Norway defeat the Netherlands to become world champions and the holders of all three major international titles for the second time.

Neagu Leads Romania to Bronze
Denmark 2015: Romania continued their strong form to claim the bronze medal with a big win against Poland.

Netherlands Debut in Final Against Experienced Norway
Denmark 2015: The Final promises a fast-paced 60 minutes between the Olympic and European champions and rampaging Netherlands.

Norway Win 70-Minute Contest for Final
Denmark 2015: Norway defeat Romania in extra time to book their place in the Final, where they will meet the Netherlands.

Romania take on the Olympic champions
Denmark 2015: The second Semi-Final at the 22nd IHF Women’s Handball World Championship sees Romania meet Norway in the battle for the Final.

Poland and Romania Through to Semi-Finals
Denmark 2015: Poland and Romania record one-goal wins with electric performances in their Quarter-Finals, against the Russian Federation and Denmark.

Quarter-Finals Preview: Herning
Denmark 2015: The Quarter-Final matches in Jyske Bank BOXEN see Poland meet the undefeated Russian Federation and Romania take on hosts Denmark.

Poland and Montenegro Book Quarter-Final Spots
Denmark 2015: The first Eighth-Final in Herning ends in a victory for Poland, before Montenegro knock out Angola with a big win.

Eighth-Finals Preview: Monday 14 December
Denmark 2015: Poland play in-form Hungary, Angola meet Montenegro, Spain and France expect a high-voltage 60 minutes and Korea take on the might of Russia.

Eighth-Finals Review: Kolding and Herning
Denmark 2015: The hosts knock Sweden out in the all-Scandinavian Eighth-Final, and Romania shock Brazil to snatch a Quarter-Final berth.

Group C Review: Friday 11 December
Denmark 2015: Korea claim the last remaining Eighth-Finals spot, Brazil secure first place in the group and Germany defeat DR Congo.

Group A Review: Friday 11 December
Denmark 2015: Montenegro secure first place with a win against Denmark, Hungary finish second and Serbia are fourth as Group A wraps up.

Group A Preview: Friday 11 December
Denmark 2015: On the last day of group phase matches, Montenegro, Hungary and Denmark all have the chance to top the table.

Group C Preview: Friday 11 December
Denmark 2015: France and Brazil battle for the top spot, Korea face Argentina in a must-win match and Germany look set for a win against DR Congo.

Portfolio · Work

25th IHF Men’s World Championship, France 2017

A collection of all my articles written during the 25th IHF Men’s Handball World Championship held in France in January 2017. From January 9 to 30 I was based in Paris, covering preliminary round Group D, the knock-out round and finals. 

Features and interviews:
Norway ready to fight for first ever medal
France 2017 Interview: The Scandinavian side have never ranked higher than fourth at an international competition, and left wing Magnus Jondal thinks it’s time that record is broken.

“Day by day we do a better job”
France 2017 Feature: Bahrain’s Husain Ali Alsayyad talks about the Asian team’s second ever World Championship campaign and handball in the tiny nation.

“Four games, four victories – it couldn’t be better”
France 2017 Interview: Henrik Toft Hansen talks about the Olympic champions campaign so far, their match against Bahrain and defence against an unfamiliar opponent.

Yehia Elderaa, Egypt’s next big star
France 2017 Interview: With Aly Zein injured, 21-year-old Yehia Elderaa is taking responsibility as first left back for Egypt – and the talented young player is impressing on all fronts.

Argentina and the importance of ‘heart’
France 2017 Feature: Goalkeeper Matias Schulz discusses the significance of sport’s x-factor for the Gladiators.

Rejuvenated Sweden on the path to success
France 2017: With an average age just under 25, Sweden are the youngest team at the World Championship – and the future looks very bright.

A small step for the Bonaventuras, one giant leap for refereeing
France 2017: French twins Charlotte and Julie Bonaventura are the first female referee pair ever nominated for an international men’s handball championship.

Medicine of Champions, Evolving Medicine
France 2017: Following the success of the first event at Qatar 2015, the International Congress: Medicine of Handball was held in conjunction with the IHF Men’s World Championship.

Previews and reviews:
Sensational second half secures France sixth world title
France 2017: Les Experts claim their second consecutive trophy, and sixth IHF World Championship gold medal.

France ready to defend title on home soil
France 2017: Two teams with very different histories will meet to contest the title in the ultimate match at France 2017.

Bronze-medal battle stirs memories of Spain 2013
France 2017: Slovenia and Croatia meet to decide the 25th IHF Men’s World Championship bronze medal.

Norway qualify for maiden World Championship final
France 2017: The Scandinavian team defeat Croatia in extra time to secure their first ever medal and book a place in the final against France.

France qualify for seventh IHF World Championship final
France 2017: The hosts move one step closer to defending their 2015 title with a commanding six-goal victory in the semi-final against Slovenia.

Norway hungry to outrun Croatia for spot in first ever final
France 2017: Norway and Croatia take to the court for the second France 2017 semi-final with intense motivation to reach the ultimate match.

Slovenia secure second ever top four finish
France 2017: Slovenia survive a late comeback from Qatar to book their second IHF Men’s World Championship semi-final berth.

Qatar knock Germany out of the title race
France 2017: 2015 silver medallists Qatar defeat the Olympic bronze medallists and EURO champions by one to claim a place in the quarter-finals.

Eighth-Final Preview: Hungary take on the Olympic champions
France 2017: Hungary have not beat Denmark in a major international competition since 2007, but hope to beat the odds on Sunday.

Slovenia send Russia home
France 2017: Slovenia defeat Russia with an impressive all-round performance to secure their second consecutive IHF World Championship Quarter-final spot.

Group D Review: Denmark unbeaten through preliminary round
France 2017: Argentina record first victory, Sweden beat Egypt to secure second, and Denmark defeat Qatar.

Group D Review: Egypt through to eighth-finals, Danes unbeaten
France 2017: Egypt earn their place in the knock-out round, Denmark defeat Bahrain, and Sweden beat Qatar.

Group D Review: Saric secures second win for Qatar
France 2017: The 2015 World Championship runners-up add their second set of two points with a victory in a low-scoring match against Argentina.

Group D Review: Egypt add two points, Denmark win Scandinavian derby
France 2017: Led by a perfect six from six for Yehia Elderaa, the African champions defeat Bahrain, before Denmark beat Sweden to top the group.

Group D Review: Second win for Sweden, first for Qatar
France 2017: Sweden’s entire squad contribute to an 18-goal victory against Argentina, and Qatar defeat continental rivals Bahrain.

Group D Review: Denmark continue rampage with second win
France 2017: The Scandinavian team record their second decisive win, earning another two points with a clear victory against Egypt.

Group D Review: Egypt defeat Qatar, Sweden beat Bahrain
France 2017: The African champions open their France 2017 campaign with a 22:20 win against Qatar, and Sweden defeat Bahrain.

France show fine form with clear opening win
France 2017: The hosts begin their quest to defend their 2015 title with a decisive victory against Pan American champions Brazil.

Ambitious Brazil open against the hosts
France 2017: The defending world champions begin their IHF World Championship campaign against the increasingly dangerous Pan American title-holders.