From this afternoon, 10 teams from America will fight for three spots for the World Championship next December when the Pan American Championship throws off in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Brazil will try to retain the continental title and obtain their 10th championship.
The 14th Pan American Championship will begin this afternoon in Buenos Aires and by the time is over next Sunday, the teams who climb to the podium will have also secured a spot for the Germany 2017 World Championship. Brazil, the defending champion, will be in group A along with Colombia, United States, Puerto Rico and Paraguay; hosts Argentina will be on group B with Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Chile and Uruguay.
With interim coach Sergio Graciano on the bench, the Brazilian team have arrived to Buenos Aires in full strength with seven of the 2013 World Champions, among them, the recent EHF Champions League champion Eduarda Amorim. They will not only have the task to qualify for Germany, but also to retain the title. Since 1997, the only time that Brazil was unable to win the tournament was in 2009, when they lost to Argentina; but other than that, the ‘verdeamarelas’ have dominated the continental competitions at least for the past decade.
For Argentina, a team that started a renewal process after the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, this tournament on home soil comes with great timing. The country took the responsibility of hosting the event after Canada, which had won the candidacy, withdrew due to complications to fund the tournament. After the qualification for the Olympic Games, when they won the silver medal in the Pan American Games of Toronto 2015, “La Garra” (the team’s nickname that could be translated as ‘fighting spirit’) gained much more popularity in a country where the men’s team had obtained better results, and therefore, more exposure in the media. The participation in Rio 2016, with some very interesting presentations, gave the team much more recognition, so the news that the tournament would be organized in Argentina generated lots of expectation within the public, which is expected to fill the stadium from today.
The tournament will count with TV broadcasting by TyC Sports and online streaming by TyC Sports Play.
The matches for today will be as follows (local time):
Paraguay – Colombia 12hs
Chile – Dominican Republic 14hs
Argentina – Guatemala 17:15hs
Brazil – United States 19:15hs