handball. The Canadian women’s junior handball team won the bronze medal at the NORCA (North American & Caribbean) Inter-Country Championship played recently in Mexico City.
Focusing on four players trained in the Handball Study Program at Marie Rivière High School in Drummondville, the Canadian team was led by Quebec coach Eric Chauquet and Drummondville assistant Stefan Berto. In the match for third place, the Canadians achieved a 34-16 victory over their rivals Puerto Rico.
“Our players were of juvenile age. So they were two years younger than our opponents, who were quite young, Stéphane Berteau recalls. We did more than respectable performances. We made good progress throughout the tournament. Girls from Alberta and Quebec did not know each other very well before Championship, but we’ve developed a great chemistry. At the end of the day, it’s a very positive result.”
In the preliminary round, Canada lost 25-22 to the United States and 31-17 to Mexico, but prevailed 32-12 over Puerto Rico.
“In the bronze medal match, we started to play more collectively. We were able to do some group training. We managed to keep our consistency from start to finish, which was not the case in our first match against the Americans,” explained Stephane Berto.
The Riverains coach said he was proud of the performances of Drummondvilloises Lyvia Paul-Hus, Jenny Bouthillier, Emie Allard and Frédérique Naud on Mexican dirt.
“In a tournament like this there is always ups and downs, but everyone contributed. Livia defended very well. She was also responsible for taking the penalties. Jenny kept goals very well. Amy, who is younger, gained experience. I learned a lot of things. Frédérique also gained valuable experience at this level. Their last match was their best.”
The Canadian team can also count on Drummondville sports therapist Stephan Beckett. The latter has been described by Stefan Berto as a true “rare pearl”.
Mexico won the gold medal. In the final match, the host country snatched the victory of the United States 30-29. Mexicans and Americans have qualified for the World Junior Handball Championship, which will be held in Slovenia.
For its part, it is likely that the Canadian national team will have to abandon its participation in the World Youth Handball Championship due to the costs related to travel.
The decision has yet to be made, but we will likely focus on preparing for 2023, when our players will be young. The team can participate in the competition IHF . Cupwhich brings emerging countries on the handball arena,” said Stefan Berto.
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