The team of Ivory Coast
Coach: Georges Seraphin Amangoua
Key Players: Djenebou Ouattara (Left Wing), Affoua Olga Prisca Kouakou (Goalkeeper), Aida Mireille Kone (Line Player)
Qualification for Hungary 2018: 2017 CAHB African Women's Junior Championship - 3rd
History in Tournament: 1977-1981: DNQ, 1983: 14th, 1985-1995: DNQ, 1997: 16th, 1999-2016: DNQ
Hungary 2018 represents a rare outing for a younger age category Côte d’Ivoire team on the global stage. In fact, their appearances at the 1983 IHF Women’s Youth (U18) World Championship in France and on home soil in 1997 have been the only IHF younger age world championships which the West African coastal country has participated in – either in men’s or women’s handball.
Coach Georges Seraphin Amangoua will be looking for a repeat performance of the form which saw his team qualify for Hungary 2018 thanks to a bronze medal at the 2017 CAHB African Women’s Junior Championship which Côte d'Ivoire hosted in Abidjan, back in September.
An impressive opening day performance against silver medallists Egypt saw a first half deficit of seven nearly caught as the home side lost 35:33 (19:12), but they managed to pick themselves up the following day with a 25:24 (11:13) come-from-behind win against Algeria, with their final match victory against Mali (28:19) enough to seal that rare place at the handball top table.
Amangoua’s preliminary 28-name squad features players who only play at home, with goalkeeper Affoua Kouakou already into double figures with her international experience and the 1,98m left wing Djenebou Ouattara and 1,95m line player Aida Mireille Kone sure to cause problems for opposition defences.
It does not get any easier for Amangoua’s team in Debrecen, however, as they find themselves in a tough group with hosts Hungary, IHF Youth World Championship fourth-placed team Norway and the strong Brazilians, Portuguese and Montenegrins.
While Ivory Coast will not go to Hungary expecting a podium spot, come the end of the tournament, the Junior World Championship presents the opportunity to gain valuable experience for some of the older players ahead of the move up to the senior team.
Group A: Hungary, Norway, Montenegro, Brazil, Portugal, Côte d’Ivoire
Games at Hungary 2018
All times local
Monday 2 July: NOR-CIV (12:00)
Wednesday 4 July: CIV-MNE (16:00)
Thursday 5 July: HUN-CIV (16:00)
Saturday 7 July: CIV-BRA (17:30)
Sunday 8 July: POR-CIV (16:00)