Despite being responsible for producing some of the greatest handball talent in the history of the sport, Ukraine’s national team is still waiting for its major success on the European scene.

Olympic gold medallists from 1976 Serhiy Kushniryuk, Yuriy Lahutyn, Mykola Tomyn, Oleksandr Rezanov and Mykhaylo Ishchenko, 1992 Olympic champion Serhiy Bebeshko, EHF EURO 2000 top scorer Oleg Velyky and seven-time EHF Champions League winner Andriy Xepkin are just some of the high-profile names to have been developed in the Ukraine.

Bebeshko is now in charge of the national team, and their solid performances in qualification meant Ukraine will be making their first appearance at a EHF EURO event for the first time in 10 years. Not since a 16th place finish at EHF EURO 2010 have the Ukrainians graced the competition and hopes will be high of a good performance when they begin the competition in Vienna.

The Ukrainian’s booked their spot at this year’s event as one of the best third-place finishers, down in so small part thanks to two vital victories over the Faroe Islands.

After a decade away from being in the spotlight, Ukraine will be determined to ensure they make the most of their time back in the big time with the hope it is not another 10 years before they are back again.

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ROAD MAP: Only three teams have their main round spots secured, meaning the race remains open for the majority of EHF EURO 2020 participants.

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GROUPS B, D & F PREVIEW: Nothing is decided in Groups B and F after two rounds, while over in Group D, Norway meet Portugal to find out who will start...

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VLADISLAV OSTROUSHKO

The 33-year-old is among a few members of the current squad with experience of playing at EHF EURO in 2010. During his club career, the powerful 202-cm left back has experienced playing in eight countries: Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Hungary, Romania, Switzerland, Poland and North Macedonia. The four-time Ukrainian champion (with ZTR and Motor Zaporozhye) has been playing
for HC Eurofarm Rabotnik since 2017 and goes into EHF EURO 2020 as the leading scorer in the VELUX EHF Champions League with 65 goals.

PAVLO GURKOVSKY

Hugely experienced pivot who has enjoyed an astonishing return to the national side. The 33-year-old returned to the fold saw him help the team qualify for EHF EURO 2020 with 19 goals. His club career saw him spend five years in Romania with Dunarea Calarasi before heading back to Ukraine to sign for Zaporozhye.

 

 

The EHF EURO 2020 will be the first major international tournament that Serhiy has coached in, despite his experience and success at national level in Belarus and Ukraine. He led Meshkov Brest, Dinamo Minsk and Motor Zaporozhye in the Last 16 of the EHF Champions League as well as winning seven national titles. The former centre back, who played 70 times for the USSR, took over before the start of the qualification campaign and successfully guided his team to the finals.

Past Performance at EHF EURO Events

Year Event Host Place/Medal
2000 Croatia 12th place
2002 Sweden 11th place
2004 Slovenia 15th place
2006 Switzerland 12th place
2010 Austria 16th place