Lake Placid Hosts USA Team Handball Qualifying Matches for Pan Am Games


LAKE PLACID, ADIRONDACKS USA -- The Lake Placid Olympic Training Center will once again echo with the fast and furious sounds of team handball when the USA and Canada duel for an automatic berth in the 2011 Pan American Games.

Four years ago, these same squads paired off with Canada earning the berth. USA Team Handball has since reorganized and makes its official international debut in the home-and-home series against Canada.

"Lake Placid is home to some of America's great Olympic moments, and a facility where handball has always felt at home," said USA Team Handball general manager Steve Pastorino. "A win against Canada would be the first important step on our mission to return the USA to the Olympics for the first time since 1996."

The USA rosters were named last month and will be coached by Chris Cappelmann (Women) and 1996 Olympian Darrick Heath (Men). The players have training with professional, collegiate and amateur clubs across the USA, Germany, Denmark, Egypt and Norway. They will conduct a weeklong camp prior to matches on Dec. 21 and 23.

Team USA fans are encouraged to make donations at to support the athletes. Those attending in person will be asked to make a $10/person (suggested) donation, all proceeds of which will directly benefit these teams.

2010 Pan Am Games competition schedule follows:

Tuesday, Dec. 21 (at Lake Placid Olympic Training Center, 196 Old Military Rd.)
4:00pm Canada Women @ USA Women
6:30pm Canada Men @ USA Men

Thursday, Dec. 23 (at La Magdeleine School, 1100 Taschereau Blvd., La Prairie, QC)
5:30pm USA Women @ Canada Women
7:30pm USA Men @ Canada Men

The winner of the USA-Canada series earns the seventh of eight berths in the Pan American Games next year. Countries already qualified include Mexico (host), Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Dominican Republic, and Venezuela. The USA-Canada loser has the option of entering a "second-chance" tournament against Guatemala, Puerto Rico, and Uruguay for the eighth berth. The winner of the Pan American Games earns an automatic bid in the 2012 London Olympics.

The loser of the qualification series will be placed into a "second-chance" tournament for another opportunity to qualify for the Pan American Games.



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