Tallinn Handball Cup titles went to four different countries, Estonia and Belarus both winning four golds
On Monday, the Tallinn Handball Cup – largest youth tournament in the Baltics – ended on the outdoor fields and sports hall of Kuristiku High School. With 2000 young handballers from seven countries taking part, out of dozen goldmedals Estonian and Belarus clubs were the most successful, winning four each. Lithuanian teams claimed three golds and Finland one win.
Record-breaking 161 teams took part in the Tallinn Handball Cup, held for the ninth time. Both boys and girls competition was held in six different age categories. The most successful team was BNTU-BelAZ from Belarus, whose teams won half of the girls competitions. Põlva Spordikool from Estonia and Tauras Vilnius from Lithuania both won two golds.
In the most high level tournament, boys’ U18 the competition was fierce and very tight matches took place. Estonian clubs proved to be too strong for the guests and occupied all four semifinal spots ahead of Swedish, Finnish and Lithuanian visitors. Põlva Spordikool beat HC Kehra by minimal advantage and HC Tallas overcame Aruküla SK only after penalty series. In the final Põlva defeated Tallas by 23-15.
“The U18 semi-final between Tallas and Aruküla was probably the emotional highlight of the whole tournament,” commented main organizer Jüri Lepp. “The sports hall was full already during the game with over 300 fans on the stands. With penalty series more people poored in from outdoor matches and the playing field was also filled with fans. The winning Tallas’ boys were more happy than many olympic champions!”
Girls U18 was similarly even competition, as Tauras beat RCOP Minsk in the final by 15-14 and another Lithuanian side HC Garliava took the bronze, beating HC Kehra by the same score. Girls tournaments were clearly dominated by guest teams, as in addition to Tauras, BNTU-BelAZ won three of them, while HC Garliava and Finnish club Atlas IF Vantaa took one win.
“I am very happy how the tournament went – the festival atmosphere, we were hoping for, was excellent. The opening ceremony and the parade in the beautiful Tondiloo Park was a success and playing level also high. Pleasantly surprised were the Swedish teams, who participated for the first time and promised to return and spread the word about the event,” said Lepp.
“Our location is perfect between East and West, so we do hope to expand the tournament in Scandinavian direction. We are also thinking about offering men’s and women’s teams a chance to play and end the season with some exciting outdoor tournament. 10th Tallinn Handball Cup will take place next year on 8th-10th June and I hope sincerely it will be even bigger and better event,” concluded Lepp.
Tallinn Handball Cup 2018 top three in each category:
U18: 1. Põlva Spordikool, 2. HC Tallas, 3. HC Kehra (all Estonia)
U15: 1. Põlva Spordikool, 2. HC Tallinn, 3. HC Kehra (all Estonia)
U13: 1. HC Tallas (Estonia), 2. Salaspils SS, 3. Ulbroka SK (both Latvia)
Mini 2007: 1. SKA Minsk (Belarus), 2. Põlva Spordikool (Estonia), 3. Ludzas nov. SS (Latvia)
Mini 2008: 1. HC Tallinn/Merivälja, 2. Põlva Spordikool (both Estonia), 3. SC Moletai (Lithuania)
Mini 2009: 1. Tauras Vilnius (Lithuania), 2. Võru, 3. HC Tallas (both Estonia)
U18: 1. Tauras Vilnius (Lithuania), 2. RCOP Minsk (Belarus), 3. HC Garliava (Lithuania)
U15: 1. BNTU-BelAZ (Belarus), 2. Moscow I, 3. Primorskaya (both Russia)
D-klass: 1. BNTU-BelAZ (Belarus), 2. SK Reval-Sport/Mustamäe (Estonia), 3. RCOP Minsk (Belarus)
Mini 2007: 1. BNTU-BelAZ (Belarus), 2. Primorskaya (Russia), 3. VJSM Taurage (Lithuania)
Mini 2008: 1. Atlas IF Vantaa (Finland), 2. RCOP Minsk (Belarus), 3. HC Garliava (Lithuania)
Mini 2009: 1. HC Garliava (Lithuania), 2. SK Reval-Sport/Kopli (Estonia), 3. Salaspils SS (Latvia)