Tuesday, August 3

Handball World Cup: Verizon, ESPN and a Galician: the United States project that has paralyzed the coronavirus


Wednesday, January 13, 2021 – 11:07

The USA Team withdraws from the World Cup that should propel the country towards the Los Angeles 2028 Games

LIMA, PERU - AUGUST 02: Hedin Robert, Head Coach of United States...

United States, in the 2019 Pan American Games.
Jam Media GETTY

Last minute: 18 players from the United States test positive for coronavirus and their selection withdraws in the World Cup in Egypt a few hours after starting. Handball, this Wednesday, in question. What happened to the bubble that supposedly surrounds each team? Which team will be the substitute with so little room for preparation? And a question above all: How was the United States qualified for the World Cup?

And it is that before the disgust, the PCR tests and the forced goodbye, the participation of the Yankee team was one of the great surprises in the championship that opens this Wednesday with an Egypt-Chile (7:00 p.m., Teledeporte). 20 years after its last presence, USA returned to the front lines of handball with an interesting project that combines bad manners and good intentions.

Bad manners? The International Handball Federation (IHF) had to expand the participants from 24 to 32 and give him the North American seat so that he could enter. Good intentions? They planned a professional league with 10 franchises by 2023; They already had a strong sponsor, Verizon; their games were to be broadcast on ESPN +; And without the shock of the coronavirus, his team did not look so bad. In Group E, the most difficult group, against France, Norway and Austria, he could dream of saving some point.

Now that aspiration has faded, although the goals of the selection will continue to lie beyond. Specifically, in the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games.

After the designation as headquarters, the United States Olympic Committee (USA Team) started a project to compete in one of the three sports in which they lack an Olympic gold -the others are badminton and table tennis- and, as it is emblem national, the ambition was exaggerated. They created a program for thousands of institutes; they hired the former Norway coach, Robert Hedin; and they found half-American players around the world to set an example for young people.

To the World Cup in Egypt that has stopped everything, for example, the brothers Today, central and pivot, from Germany; the goalkeeper Pal Merkovski, half Hungarian; the French left back Aboubakar Fofana; and so on to the Galician central lex Chan.

From Virginia to Pontevedra

His grandfather emigrated, he met his grandmother, from New Orleans, they both moved to Virginia and the player’s mother was born there, who lived and trained in Pontevedra until she discovered that the United States had obtained a place for the World Cup. I already sent them an email years ago, but they didn’t even answer me. When I saw about the World Cup, I talked about it with my coach, he with Manolo chains [ex seleccionador espaol] and this one with the team coach, Robert Hedin, who called me, explained this Tuesday Chan, a player of the Asobal League Swan Club, before the retirement. I do not know what will happen, maybe we will try to compete with the players who have tested negative, I hope we can play, he commented while waiting for the decision of his country.

Years ago he was summoned to youth Spain, but faced with the impossibility of making a place for himself in the absolute, he decided to accept the project of his mother’s country and try to make him grow. In Ranker’s latest poll of America’s most popular sport, handball ranked 58th behind fishing, darts, or cricket, but … if they set out, they’ll make a competitive team for Los Angeles 2028 Now we are far from the great powers, but they have enormous quarry possibilities, Chan explained that in the few days that the coronavirus allowed him, he made good friends with the pivot Andrew Donlin who came to Ademar de Len to train in the Air Forces sports program and has ended up entering the team’s rotation.

A few hours before the World Cup, the coronavirus paralyzed the interesting project of the United States to shine in handball, but, if they propose it, for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games they will have a selection to take into account.

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