The bad weather conditions did not cease in Brasilia and the Four Nations tournament had to be postponed for the second day in a row. The host nation and Slovenia had already started their game on the Nilson Nelson gymnasium, but the leaks and humidity appeared once again and made it impossible for the teams to continue playing.
After only 19 minutes of play, the game was cancelled. By then, some of the players had already slipped on the court and in order to avoid any injuries, both coaches decided to end the match. The encounter between Argentina and Serbia was played later than the scheduled time, on an alternate gymnasium, but when the scoreboard was 6-5 for the Europeans after only 9:14 minutes, it had to be suspended as well. The fall of some of the players, due to the slippery floor, forced the cancellation.
The president of the Brazilian Handball Confederation, Manoel Luiz Oliveira, explained the situation after these episodes: “From the moment the CBHb decided to bring the tournament to Brasilia, we’ve made several visits to the gymnasium and the weather was always good; the leaking problems were never informed to us and we only found out last week, while we were working on the final details and preparing the floor. The Confederation, along with a supervision of the Federal District authorities and a specialized maintenance provider, has taken all the necessary measures to ease the problem, but the rains were too intense and we fell short”. Brazilian website Globoesporte recalls that this same gymnasium was host to a Roller Figure Skating World Championship that ended up being cancelled back in 2011, for leaking problems.
“After what had happened yesterday (on Friday), the Firemen Department tried to solve the problem on the roof of the gymnasium and during the Brazil-Slovenia match we didn’t have any leaking problems, however the humidity was too high and the moisture on the floor made it impossible for the players to stay on the court. The CBHb is extremely hurt and sad, there are no words to describe how we’re feeling right now”, stressed Oliveira.
After a technical meeting last night, it was decided that the last day of competition will be held in a different location, the Centro de Capacitação Física do Corpo de Bombeiros. The games will be open to the press, no spectators nor TV are expected. The schedule will be as follows:
Argentina vs Slovenia, at 10am (local time).
Brazil vs Serbia, at 12pm (local time)
While most of the teams that will be present in Denmark 2015 have had high voltage friendlies, the current World champions Brazil, runners-up Serbia and Argentina will get to this 22nd edition of the ecumenic tournament with a rather troubled final preparation. Hopefully, this won’t represent a serious disadvantage for the challenges ahead. Meanwhile, and if the bad weather conditions allows it, there will be a final attempt to make the trip worth for every delegation.
Photo credit: CBHb