The 2017 Men’s Youth Pan American
Championships begin on Saturday with 11 teams contesting the title over a
seven-day event in Santiago, Chile. The competition has grown rapidly with six
nations on court at the 2015 edition to 11 teams in 2017.
The United States, Canada, Costa
Rica, Puerto Rico and Mexico will all take to the court in 2017 after missing
the previous event, joining defending champions Brazil, runners-up Argentina,
2015 bronze medallists Chile, Venezuela, Uruguay and Paraguay to decide not only
the new title holders, but also which nations represent Pan America at the 2017
IHF Men’s Youth (U19) World Championship to be held this August in Georgia.
The Pan American Youth
Championship has been adapted from the round-robin format in 2015 to a two-group
preliminary phase competition, with the top two teams from each group
qualifying for the semi-finals.
Argentina are the record winners
of the title, having raised the trophy seven times and won five silver.
“We want to fight for the title and reach the top, because we
are Argentina,” says coach Osvaldo Lopez. “Our team are good in defence. We are
physically big and very dynamic. The negative part is the lack of international
competition. We aim to play neatly and be well organised, defend intensely and
make counter attacks – all of this leads you to victory.”
Brazil equal Argentina’s record of 12 medals, but with five gold
and seven silver. No other nation has ever won the Men’s Youth Pan American or
the silver medal, with Chile holding five bronze medals, Puerto Rico tallying
two, and Cuba, Greenland, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela collecting one each.
The preliminary round playing
groups are as follows:
Group A: Argentina, Venezuela, Uruguay, Puerto Rico
Group B: Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Mexico, Costa Rica
and the United States
can be found on the PTHF website and live updates will be
posted on the official Twitter account here.