Hungary won the Qatch Masters 2021
The Hungarian team consisting of Gábor Pálos, László Széles and Tamás Zöldy won the Qatch Masters 2021 undefeated.
Due to the withdrawal of Germany the Qatch Masters 2021 tournament started with two Hungarian teams on 18 December 2021. Instead of the Germans, who could have participated in an international qatch tournament for the first time, the Hungarian beach handball team “Beach Stars” stepped in.
In the morning, the teams started the competition in two groups of three teams. The Beach Stars, who entered the tournament as “Hungary II”, were grouped with World Championship silver medallists Serbia and Portugal, while the defending World Champion Hungary faced Ukraine and Montenegro in the group stage. It was quickly decided that Portugal, who finished fourth at the World Championship, would not be playing for a medal in the trio of Group A, having lost to Hungary II and Serbia. This also meant that these two teams would play a one-off match for the first place in the group. The Serbs won the first game, but Hungary II won the second, so it was time for the decisive game, which the Hungarian team started better. They were already leading 6-4, but Milos Drobnjak's team found themselves and with a 7-0 run they were able to turn the match around and won. In Group B, the Hungarian trio of Gábor Pálos, László Széles and Tamás Zöldy won both their matches and reached the semi-finals, where only one place was up for grabs. Thus, Ukraine and Montenegro met in the last match of the morning programme. The Ukrainians, led by Denis Naumenco, eventually won 2-0 to set up a semi-final against Serbia. The second leg was a home clash between the two Hungarian teams.
Surprisingly, in the first semi-final, the Serbs handily lost the first game; however, they managed to make up for it in the second game, so they had another decisive game to play. In a tightly fought match, the last score was the deciding factor as the teams went head-to-head. With the score at 11-11, Milos Drobnjak's shot was the decider, hence Serbia was the first team who reached the final. The other semi-final was not such an exciting game, with Hungary claiming an easy victory over Hungary II.
Qatch Masters 2021 was not just about men, but also about ladies. Before the placement matches, there was also a women's demonstration match, which brought some fantastic and spectacular solutions.
Portugal and Montenegro then took to the pitch for the 5th place. The clash between the two teams was an exciting encounter, as Portugal won both games as well as the match by the narrowest margins (12-11, 12-11).
The bronze medal match was played between Ukraine and Hungary II, where, unlike in the group matches and semi-finals, the teams played to two sets. The semi-final took a lot out of the Ukrainians, as was noticeable in the first set, since Hungary II only allowed them four points. The second set brought more exciting rallies, but Boris Levitszki and his team could not equal the score, so the bronze medal went to Hungary II, consisting of Balázs Glózik, Tamás András Nagy and Olivér Tatai.
The final was a repeat of the 2020 World Championship final, with Hungary's opponent being Serbia. The Serbs, coming without a substitute, were not in an easy situation, as Milos Drobnjak picked up a minor injury, which was noticeable during the first set. The world champion Hungarian team won the first set with one spectacular solution after the other. The second set was a bit closer, but Serbia still could not get Hungary, so the trio of Milos Drobnjak, Nemanja Marjanovic and Vladimir Antic finished in the second place. The Qatch Masters 2021 was won by the Hungarian team of Gábor Pálos, László Széles and Tamás Zöldy.