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The World Games Athlete of the Year 2018

Greece's Women Team Beach Handball

The Greece Women Beach Handball Team surprised everyone by taking the title in their first ever participation at the Beach HAndball World Championships in 2018.

They negotiated a tough group at the first round finishing third, to advance to the knock-out stages and beat Russia 2-1 in the quarterfinals. Then the Greeks saw off previous champion Spain in the semifinal’s shoot-out (2-1) and advanced to Sunday’s final where they locked horns with Norway. The two sets went one each way (18-14, 15-24) before Greece triumphed in the shoot-out (5-2) for an unlikely top spot in the tournament as rank outsiders.

One of the two Greek coaches, Maria Karantoni wondered: "What just happened? We are top of the world? I can’t believe it, it’s just too soon!”

Greece captain Vasso Skara, the tournament’s most valuable player – as well as its oldest one at the age of 45 years – said: “I have lived through so much, but I had always dreamed of this, to hear the national anthem of Greece and earn a medal.”

1 January

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