Croatia and Germany defended title in Beach World Championship

Germany’s women and Croatia’s men secured gold.  The Beach World Championships, which arranged on Pingtan Island in China, thus had the same winner as the previous edition.

Germany lost a match to Brazil in the group stage and advanced from third place from the main round since Denmark did not drop to a set in the duel. The turning point came in the knock-out round, a shoot-out triumph in the quarter-finals where Belen Gettwart spun in the decisive goal and Spain’s last-ditch effort was called a technical fault.

The final place was secured just as late, via revenge against Denmark. Lucie Kretzschmar scored just a point in the semi-final, just in the right moment to make it 9–8 in the shoot-out.

Argentina on the other half of the tournament with eight straight wins but had no chance to challenge when Nele Kurzke saved and the defenders denied a number of other opportunities.

– What we did in defense is incredible, fantastic running and our plan worked perfectly. We put the Argentinians in situations that we wanted and we got a lot out of the blocks in the end, Caroline Hübner told after the 2-0 win.

Netherlands won a tight bronze medal match against Denmark, while Portugal used a similar match pattern against Germany to step onto the podium in the men’s tournament.

The winning nation Croatia went clean in the group stage, dropping only one set in the Main round. The Balkan country’s first shoot-out came in the quarter-final against Hungary with Ivan Dumencic as the match winner. 

Croatia dominated more against Portugal, scoring machine Lucian Bura and stopped opportunities for the opponent arranged the final place in two straight sets.

Denmark grew during the championship and was a worthy final team for the gold duel that turned into shoot-out. Croatia took an early lead after a save by Filip Hancic and the shooters made no mistakes until their fourth gold since 2016.

Croatia is closing in on Brazil who top the overall medal table, both for men and women.