After a clear win against Canada in the North American and Caribbean Handball Confederation play-off, the United States has secured its place at the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile.
The Pan American Games Qualifier doubleheader took place at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and had a clear favourite in the United States of America, which aimed to build on the impressive 20th place finish they recently achieved at the 2023 IHF Men’s World Championship, where they ended up in 20th place, securing their first-ever win in the competition.
In the first match, the USA led Canada 13:11 after 20 minutes, but they jumped to an 11:3 run to extend their lead to 24:14 by halftime, while the USA dominated Canada defensively in the second half as well.
The Canadians could not score more than three goals in the last 30 minutes, resulting in a clear 40:17 win for USA, effectively ending every discussion about who will qualify for the 2023 Pan American Games.
The USA won the second match (34:17), controlling the match from start to finish, as Canada had little offensive threat.
A 74:34 win in the doubleheader qualified the United States of America for the 2023 Pan American Games, a qualifying event for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
A total of eight teams will participate in the competition, which will take place in Chile’s capital Santiago between 21 October and 1 November. The winner will qualify for Paris 2024.
With the remaining three spots still available in the men’s competition, USA will be joined by hosts Chile, Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay. Meanwhile, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Canada will compete for a spot in the women’s tournament, with three still to be clinched.
In the same play-off as in the men’s category, the Canada women’s team secured their place with a 44:31 doubleheader win against the USA.
The USA men’s team will participate in the Pan American Games for the seventh time, taking a gold medal in 1987 and two bronze medals in 1991 and 2003.