The final six teams for the women’s handball teams were decided over three Olympic qualification tournaments. Each of the three tournaments contained four teams where a round robin tournament was played. The top two teams from each tournament qualified to the Olympics. The three tournaments were held from March 18th to March 20th 2016 in Metz, France, Aarhus, Denmark and Astrakhan, Russia.
The first tournament began with Japan powering through Tunisia 37-20 while the Netherlands used a strong second half to defeat France 24-17. The Netherlands would again use a strong second half to go from 15-16 to 33-15 against Japan and qualified to the Olympics. France defeated Tunisia 33-15 to set up a match against Japan for the second Olympic quota. Netherlands finished top of the group with 37-20 win over Tunisia. France began strong against Japan and never gave the nation a chance to catch-up. In the end France qualified to the Olympics after a 25-17 win over Japan.
The second tournament began with Montenegro defeating Uruguay and Romania defeating Denmark 34-19 and 32-25 respectively. Romania continued its winning ways and defeated Uruguay 36-19. In the other match Montenegro held Denmark off and qualified both itself and Romania to the Olympics with a 26-22 win. With Olympic qualification already booked for both nations Romania went on a seven goal streak to take the lead against Montenegro 15-11 going into the half. Montenegro would respond in the second half with a six goal streak and scored the final goal right at the end of the match to tie 23-23. Romania would win the tournament due to the better goal differential. Denmark would take a consolation third place by defeating Uruguay 38-17.
The first match of the third tournament between Poland and Russia ended up being quite the thriller. Russia scored three unanswered goals in the final three minutes to win the match 27-25. Meanwhile Sweden defeated Mexico 41-20. Sweden would end up eliminating Poland by defeating the team 30-24. Russia joined Sweden to the Olympics after their comprehensive 37-17 win over Mexico. With Olympic qualification for both nations Russia would begin the match 5-0 against Sweden and would never relinquish the lead as they went on to win the tournament 37-29. Poland would take a consolation third place by defeating Mexico 36-14.
With these tournaments over the participating nations for the women’s handball tournament have been finalised. The men’s tournament will be finalised with their own final qualification tournaments to be held over the coming weeks.
Tournament 1 Rankings
Tournament 2 Rankings
Tournament 3 Rankings
- IHF. 2016 Women’s Olympic Games Qualification Tournament 1 Results. Access on March 20 2016.
- IHF. 2016 Women’s Olympic Games Qualification Tournament 2 Results. Access on March 20 2016.
- IHF. 2016 Women’s Olympic Games Qualification Tournament 3 Results. Access on March 20 2016.