Croatia and Spain won gold at the Youth Beach Handball Championships in Heraklion ©Getty Images

Croatia and Spain ran out as men's and women's winners of the Youth Beach Handball World Championships as both finals were decided by shoot-out in Heraklion in Greece.

The Croatians beat Brazil 9-6 in the deciding shoot-out after both taking one period each to send it to overtime.

Despite a last minute two-point shot from Brazil at the end of the first period, it was not enough to give them the initial advantage as Croatia took it 19-18.

The second set saw Brazil pull away midway through and they never looked back, surging to a 12-4 lead.

The Croatians almost staged a comeback but they were just about kept at bay as Brazil won 16-12 to take it to a third period.

Croatia finally prevailed, winning the decider 9-6, in a dramatic finish.

Brazilian goalkeeper Pedro Santana Raposo saved with his leg outside of the area to concede a six-metre penalty which was converted by Josip Tomic to put his side 4-0 up which was too great of a lead to be turned over.

"I can’t talk," said Croatia captain Vigo Konforta, who was the top scorer in the final with 12 points.

"This is my dream, this is what we were working for.

"This is everything, we feel incredible.

"We can’t wait to put the trophy up…I don't know, it's incredible."

The women's final saw Spain face off against The Netherlands with the Spaniards being completely dominant in the first set, scoring 30 points to 16, making them the first team to find the net 30 times in a final in both the senior and youth World Championships.

Shortly after, The Netherlands repeated the feat as they won the second period 30-22.

Spain then prevailed 8-6 in a tightly fought final period.

"We don't have words to define it," said Spain's Maria Laguna Contreras, who scored the title-winning point.

"I was sure that their defender was going to leave the goal.

"She was trying this movement a lot of times.

"I had confidence my shot would go in.

"We make a perfect championship.

"We lost just one game, against Hungary and now I feel very very happy and want to enjoy the time."

Iran won bronze in the men's event while Poland also made the women's podium.