BUNSCHOTEN-SPAKENBURG / LEUSDEN Dutch handball players won their first international match after the Olympic Games in droves. The team, led by interim national coach Monique Tejstermann, set aside Belarus with a score of 38-27. The duel in Almere was the first in the qualifying series for the European Championship 2022. Next Sunday, the Orange team will play against Greece.
The Dutch women’s team is still the world champion, but fell hard this summer in Tokyo in the quarter-finals against France. After the Olympic tournament, national coach Emmanuel Mayunade decided not to extend his contract with the Dutch Federation.
The team had to dispense with retired Nikke Groot and Martin Smits at Almere, but also injured Estafana Pullman and Louis Abing lost. Turns out that wasn’t a real loss against weak Belarus, who already had plenty of room to score, but succumbed to Orange’s fast attacking match. In the first half, Tijsterman was already leading 21-16 and after the break, the team expanded the lead. Ponchoten’s Angela Mallesten was the most accurate of the internationals with eight strokes. Captain Danek Snelder scored seven times. Laura van der Heyden scored three goals.
The European Championship will be held in November 2022 in Slovenia, North Macedonia and Montenegro. Germany is also in the Netherlands group. The two best nations in the group qualify for the final round. In December this year, the Netherlands will defend the world title for the first time in Spain.
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