The Women’s EHF EURO 2018 Preliminary Round saw records smashed, surprise results, stand-out individual performances and plenty of team spirit. These are our 10 favourite moments.
1. Romania’s Cristina Neagu breaking the all-time EHF EURO top-scorer record, which has stood for 16 years. She passed Hungarian Agnes Farkas (205 goals) and German Grit Jurack (194 goals) – and the two iconic players commended Neagu for her achievement.
“She is a very good, outstanding player, and she deserves to be on the top of the world,” said Jurack. “If she’s going like she did in the past she will get a record that can never be beaten in the future. I wish Cristina and the team all the luck they can get – but I hope that Germany will beat them next time!”
2. The incredible atmosphere in the sold-out Palais des sports Jean Weille in Nancy.
3. Lois Abbingh’s last-second goal for the Netherlands versus Spain, earning the EHF EURO 2016 runners-up a 28:27 win.
4. The young Slovenia side’s victory over Olympic champions Russia, hinting at the promising future of this team led by sharpshooter Ana Gros.
5. Germany’s round 1 victory over defending champions Norway, which was followed by Romania’s record-breaking win versus the Scandinavian team – the biggest ever at a EURO.
6. France’s open training session and hangout with a group of 200 hearing-impaired children.
7. Durdina Jaukovic and Noemi Hafra’s outstanding performances. Both rank among the top 10 scorers at the EURO at just 21 and 20 years of age, and have tallied the most goals for their teams, Montenegro and Hungary.
8. Sandra Toft’s save on a penalty after the buzzer, which secured Denmark a 30:29 victory in their opening match against Sweden.
9. The beautiful show from the Demos orchestra at half-time of the match between Netherlands and Croatia in Montbeliard.
10. Captains doing an exceptional job leading their teams. Montenegro’s Jovanka Radicevic made it clear her team is far more important than any individual achievement after she passed the 100-goal milestone at EHF EUROs: “For me, as captain of this national team, it’s more important that we win. I will now sign that I won’t score any more goals as long as we take something [a medal]!”