NewsDetails

Date: 11/22/2015
 

Coach: Mohamed Riadh Sanaa

Key Players: Mouna Chebbah (Centre Back), Raja Toumi (Left Back), Fadia Omrani (Goalkeeper)

Qualification for Denmark 2015: Champions of the 2014 Women's African Handball Cup of Nations

History in Tournament: 1957-73: DNQ, 1975: 12th, 1978-99: DNQ, 2001: 19th, 2003: 18th, 2005: DNQ, 2007: 15th, 2009: 14th, 2011: 18th, 2013: 17th

Overview:

In all of their previous appearances at the IHF Women’s World Championships, Tunisia have never finished higher than 12th, which they accomplished in 1975. However, their last four results at the tournament have shown a certain consistency; they have always finished between 14th and 18th position.

The African side qualified for Denmark 2015 as champions of the 2014 Women’s African Handball Cup of Nations held from 16-25 January in Algiers and Cheraga, Algeria.

They placed second in Group B, where they beat Guinea 32:16 and DR Congo 32:30 but lost to Angola 25:19. In the quarter-finals they defeated Senegal 31:27 and then made the final after taking revenge against Angola (31:30) – which also booked them a spot for the 2015 IHF Women’s World Championship and deprived the Angolans of their ninth consecutive Women’s African Cup of Nations title. 

Tunisia won the gold medal match against DR Congo 23:20, the third time they achieved that success after their first two in 1974 and 1976.

Tunisia counts on the strength and determination of Mouna Chebbah. The 33-year-old HBC Nimes (FRA) centre back has represented her national team in 225 international matches and scored 963 goals. The playmaker Chebbah competed at the 2009 IHF Women’s World Championship in China and scored 58 goals reaching the top 10 scorers ranking. 

At Brazil 2011 she scored 32 times and in Serbia in 2013 she accumulated 30. She has also played for club teams Viborg HK and Esbjerg in the 2015 World Championship host country, Denmark.

Aged 37, the left back Raja Toumi is the most experienced member of the Tunisian squad. She has made 230 international appearances and scored 982 goals. The Club Africain (TUN) player was Tunisia’s top scorer at the 2013 IHF Women’s World Championship in Serbia – with 34 goals – and was also efficient at China 2009 and Brazil 2011 – when she scored 42 and 29 goals respectively.

33-year-old right back Haifa Abdelhak and 24-year-old line player Asma Elghaoui are also important for the coach Mohamed Riadh Sanaa. Abdelhak has scored 652 goals in 189 matches representing Tunisia, while Siofok KC Hongrie pivot Elghaouihas has scored 386 times in 85 games.

Fadia Omrani is another key player for Tunisia. The experienced 30-year-old goalkeeper had a better performance at Serbia 2013 than her partner at Club Africain Echraf Abdallah (aged 28) and Noura Ben Slama (30 years old) - who plays her club handball at Dijon Bourgognein France. Omrani’s overall saves percentage was 41% at the last IHF Women’s World Championship.

50-year-old coach Mohamed Riadh Sanaa is a former men’s senior Tunisia team player who competed at the Sydney 2000 Olympics. He now has the responsibility to help the women’s national team to make a transition towards the new generation from the old. 

Although there are still mature players in the African side, young prospects have joined the squad, like centre back Sondes Hachanaor and line player Rakia Rezgui – both 19 years old. The squad’s average age is just 25.

In preparation for Denmark 2015, Tunisia played two friendly matches against Italy – one win and one loss – and will travel to Europe to compete with Denmark, Spain and Angola at the Women’s International Tournament Spain 2015, which will be held from 7-29 November in Gijon and Asturias.

In the Preliminary Round of the 2015 IHF Women’s World Championship, Tunisia will face Japan and four European teams in Group A: Serbia – 2nd at the last World Championship, Denmark – bronze medallists at Serbia 2013, Montenegro – fourth at the 2014 EHF EURO – and Hungary, whom they will make their debut against, in Herning, on Saturday 5 December. 

Fans can follow Tunisia on their Facebook fan page.

Group at Denmark 2015: 
Group A, Herning: Tunisia, Montenegro, Denmark, Japan, Hungary and Serbia

Games at Denmark 2015: 
All times local
Saturday 5 December: HUN-TUN (18:00)
Sunday 6 December: TUN-DEN (20:45)
Tuesday 8 December: JPN-TUN (16:15)
Wednesday 9 December: MNE-TUN (16:15)
Friday 11 December: TUN-SRB (18:30)

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