North Macedonia are returning to the IHF Women’s Youth (U18) World Championship for the first time in eight years and will surely aim to improve their 2014 performance, when they finished 17th, especially as they will be backed by their fiery fans in Skopje throughout the whole tournament.
The main issue for the hosts is that they are unproven at this level, with this current generation failing to qualify for the W17 EHF EURO 2021, therefore never measuring their level with the top teams in the competition.
However, winning the W17 EHF Championship 2021 last summer underlined North Macedonia’s ambitions, as they dropped only a single game, against Spain in the preliminary round, on their way to the title. Wins against Poland and Iceland helped North Macedonia secure the trophy and they will be hoping to register more of the same results in the competition they are hosting.
Reaching the main round seems to be a manageable task, as with the Islamic Republic of Iran, Senegal and Uzbekistan, they will be facing opponents in the preliminary round who also have not that much World Championship experience. Backs Teodora Duskoska and Iva Mladenoska, their top scorers at the W17 EHF Championship 2021, made the roster for the 2022 IHF Women’s Youth World Championship, as they look to shine on home court.
Progressing to the main round will mean that North Macedonia are due to secure the best-ever result in the competition – therefore, starting on a high will be paramount for their success in Skopje.
Key players: Teodora Duskoska (right back), Iva Mladenovska (right back), Emilijana Rizoska (left wing)
Qualification for North Macedonia 2022: Hosts
History in tournament: 2014: 17th
Group at North Macedonia 2022: Group B (Islamic Republic of Iran, North Macedonia, Uzbekistan, Senegal)