Carlos Viver (Granollers, 48 years old) left the position of women’s handball coach on Thursday. The news comes three months before the World Cup that Spain will organize and a few weeks after the team failed to pass the first phase of the Tokyo Olympics. His replacement will be announced in the next few hours, although everything indicates that it will be José Ignacio Prades, who was his second.
The president of the Federation, Francisco Blázquez, justified the decision by the need for “a new impulse, a revulsive, an incentive to optimize the work of the coming years to the maximum with an eye on the Paris Games in 2024”. Viver’s relay had been around the backstage of Spanish handball for weeks. His absence on August 12 from the 2021 World Cup draw raised suspicions about a possible turn on the bench, as this has occurred. The Vallesano leaves the leadership of the Guerreras, but will continue to lead Rapid de Bucharest, which he arrived ten months ago, where internationals Alicia Fernández, Marta López and Ainhoa Hernández also play.
Viver accepted the position in February 2017 taking the witness of Jorge Dueñas, with whom the team had hung the first four medals in its history: a bronze in London 2012, two European silver and a world bronze. And, as soon as he landed, the Catalan began a profound renovation. Several of the most successful players (Marta Mangué, Macarena Aguilar, Patricia Elorza, Nely Carla Alberto, Eli Chávez, Eli Pinedo or Naiara Egozkue) disappeared (some due to retirement) and others emerged with hardly any international background (Alicia Fernández, Sole López, Jennifer Gutiérrez, Eli Cesáreo or Almudena Rodríguez).
The beginnings of the new cycle were complicated, with an eleventh place in the 2017 World Cup and a twelfth in the 2018 European Championship. The sights were set, above all, on this 2021 World Cup that Spain will organize, but the pieces fit before, in the 2019 World Cup in Japan. There the mortar of the new incorporations and the important players who had remained (Carmen Martín, Nerea Pena, Silvia Navarro, Shandy Barbosa and Lara González) settled, and the Guerreras hung the silver in a final against the Netherlands in which the gold was a centimeter away.
However, since that achievement in late December 2019, the team has been drawing a downward line in results. When the pandemic allowed him to return to the tracks, he did not go beyond ninth place in the European of last December, then he certified the ticket to Tokyo in an accessible pre-Olympic tournament (it was a group of three with the thorny Sweden and the weak Argentina, and they passed two) and at the Games he was unable to overcome his usual irregularity. He defeated France (future champion) and Brazil, but could not with Sweden, Hungary (a victory would have given him the quarterfinals) and Russia.
The recent sporting performance together with the conviction in the federation that a change in the dressing room was necessary pushed the president, Francisco Blázquez, to carry it out three months before the World Cup in which Spain will be the host.
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