Seven European teams to lead Olympic gold quest
Handball at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is set to start on Saturday with the men’s competition, as all 12 teams will play their opening match in the Yoyogi National Gymnasium.
The participants have been divided into two sections of six for the group phase, which runs from 24 July through 1 August.
The top four of both groups advance to the quarter-finals on 3 August. The semi-finals are two days later, and the medal matches take place on Saturday 7 August.
2016 gold medallists Denmark among favourites again
The field includes seven European nations, with 2016 gold medallists Denmark among the obvious favourites again.
Denmark will take on hosts Japan in the concluding match of the opening day, which should give the current world champions a decent chance to get their group B campaign off to a winning start.
In the very last group match, on 1 August, Denmark will meet Sweden in a highly anticipated repeat of the 2021 World Championship final, which Denmark won 26:24 in January.
The third European team in this part are Portugal, with Egypt – hosts and quarter-finalists of the worlds last January – and Bahrain completing the line-up in group B.
EHF EURO champions Spain face challenging opponents
Over in group A, reigning two-time EHF EURO champions Spain will first meet Germany, five years after both teams contested the final of the 2016 European Championship. Germany went on to win Olympic bronze in Rio that year.
It will only be the first in a series of serious challenges for Spain, as they will continue their journey with matches against Norway, Brazil, France, and Argentina in a group that looks tighter than the other section of the competition.
Looking for gold again after their back-to-back triumphs in 2008 and 2012 and winning silver in 2016, France open proceedings against the South American opposition – first Argentina, then Brazil – leaving the European nations for the business end of the group phase.
For further information on the event and the detailed schedule, visit the official Olympics homepage.