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France gets its first tournament victory in Kloten

More than 2,000 spectators on all three days, a great atmosphere in the hall  thanks to exciting last-minute decisions - and world champion France with their first tournament victory: The Airport Trophy, the best-attended youth handball tournament in Europe , also shone with superlatives at the 9th edition.


In the Ruebisbachhalle in Kloten, France prevailed against top-class international competition and relegated Spain to second place and five-time tournament winner Germany to third place. Germany caught up after a completely botched start (0:3 after 2 minutes) and took the lead several times. In the turbulent final phase of a high-quality game, however, neither team managed to score the winning goal.

France once again underlined its current leading position in the promotion of young talent. The team, which was European Youth Champion in Croatia in 2016 and U19 World Champion in Georgia in 2017, put their stamp on the 2018 Airport Trophy. The French were technically, tactically, but also physically in a class of their own and set the course for their first tournament victory in Kloten in the opening game against co-favorite Spain.

Host Switzerland had a difficult time in the strong field of U20 national teams. The Swiss team learned the hard way against Germany, France and Spain - all favorites for the forthcoming European Championships. After two clear defeats against Germany and France, the team found their way impressively in the third game against Spain and demanded everything from the top team from the Iberian Peninsula. Ultimately, however, he lacked the substance in this final game to more than challenge the opponent.

As expected, the tournament featured handball at the absolute top level. More than 2,000 spectators watched the six games on the three days of the game and created an extraordinary atmosphere in the Ruebisbachhalle. With the Frenchman Noah Gaudin, a player from the winning team wrote a piece of tournament history with a strong individual performance. The 19-year-old middle player of the university club from Aix-en-Provence convinced as a director and goalscorer at the same time, was not only the top scorer of the tournament, but also the "Most Valuable Player of the Tournament (MVP) award. For the first time in the history of the tournament, both awards went to the same one Player.

Airport Trophy 2018

France - Spain 31:25 (Picturehe)
Switzerland - Germany 18:27 (Pictures)

Switzerland - France 18:30 (Pictures)
Germany - Spain 21:24 (Pictures)
Germany - France 26:26 (Pictures)
Switzerland - Spain 25:27 (Pictures)


final ranking

1. FRA 3/5
2.ESP 3/4
3. GER 3/3
4. SUI 3/0


Special awards:

Top scorer: Noah Gaudin (FRA, 19 goals)
Most valuable player: Noah Gaudin (FRA)
Best Goal Keeper: Leon Mehler (GER)

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