The final men’s handball teams were decided at one of three 2016 Men’s Handball Final Olympic Qualification Tournaments. Three tournaments with four nations each were held concurrently where a round robin was held. The top two teams in each tournament qualified to the Olympics. The Men’s Handball Final Olympic Tournaments were held from April 8th to April 10th 2016 in Sopot, Poland, Malmo, Sweden and Herning, Denmark respectively.
Tunisia grabbed the first victory over Chile in the first tournament, winning 35-29. Likewise Poland defeated Macedonia 25-20. In the second group of matches Tunisia went up 17-10 by half-time against Macedonia and was able to win the match 32-26. With Poland’s 35-27 victory over Chile both nations qualified to the Olympics with a game to spare. Poland would go on to win the tournament by defeating Tunisia 28-24. Macedonia finished in third by defeating Chile 30-27.
In the second tournament Spain began well against Slovenia, taking a 16-12 lead going into the second half. However, a collapse gave Slovenia a 12-5 run and the 24-21 victory. Sweden won its first match against Iran, defeating them 34-19. Spain didn’t repeat the same mistake in the second match as they decisively defeated Iran 37-23. In the other match Sweden took a narrow lead over Slovenia and while Slovenia caught up to Sweden many times they were unable to take the lead. A final minute goal gave Sweden the narrow 24-23 victory over Slovenia. The final match between Sweden and Spain was close with neither team holding more than a 4 goal lead. Spain ended up winning the match 25-23, but the final minute goal for Sweden would go on to prove to be a difference maker. Slovenia won its match against Iran 33-17 setting up a three-way tie between Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. The tie-breaker was the goal difference between the teams in question meaning Slovenia won the tournament with a +2 goal differential. However, Spain and Sweden were still tied at -1 goal difference. The next criteria was the number of goals scored between the tied teams meaning Sweden finished in second due to scoring 47 goals to Spain’s 46.
The third tournament had Norway finding it difficult separating itself from Bahrain. The second half proved to be much better for Norway as they pulled away to win 35-29. The match between Denmark and Croatia was fairly close and it included a four goal comeback attempt by Croatia late in the second half. Denmark was able to prevent the comeback and placed some distance between the two teams winning the match 28-24. Similarly to Norway Croatia also struggled to pull away from Bahrain as the match was tied 14-14 by the end of the first half. Likewise the second half opened up as Croatia would go on to win relatively easily 33-22. The match between Denmark and Norway was fairly close with neither team getting a lead of more than 4. In a tense final minute no team was able to score as the two teams ended in a 25-25 draw. A strong first half for Croatia in the final match was all that was needed to defeat Norway 27-21 to book its spot to the Olympics. Denmark grabbed the second quota in a narrow26-24 win over Bahrain as they won the overall tournament.
This was the final opportunity for nations to qualify in what will be a very competitive tournament of handball.
Tournament 1 Rankings
Tournament 2 Rankings
Tournament 3 Rankings
- IHF. Men’s Olympic Games Qualification Tournament 2016, POL. Access on April 10 2016.
- IHF. Men’s Olympic Games Qualification Tournament 2016, SWE. Access on April 10 2016.
- IHF. Men’s Olympic Games Qualification Tournament 2016, DEN. Access on April 10 2016.