Tokyo Olympics

France's handball teams discover their Olympic opponents

France men's handball team coach Guillaume Gille will try to steer the team to gold at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
France men's handball team coach Guillaume Gille will try to steer the team to gold at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. AP - Petr David Josek

France’s handball teams have discovered who their opponents will be at the Olympic Games in Tokyo following the draw for the tournament on Thursday.

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France’s mens team - who came fourth at the 2021 world championships in Egypt - will take on the European champions Spain as well as Argentina, Brazil, Germany and Norway in Group A.

“We played Spain and Norway at the world championships so those won’t be easy games," said France coach Guillaume Gille after the draw at the headquarters of the International Handball Federation in the Swiss city of Basel.

"And we mustn’t forget Germany who also have a very strong squad."

The French women’s team will face Brazil , Hungary, Russian Olympic Committee, Spain and Sweden in Group B.

Quality

In the men’s competition, hosts Japan were placed in Group B with world champions Denmark, as well as Sweden, the team the Danes beat in the final

Japan will also play Egypt, Portugal and competition debutants Bahrain in the round robin phase of the competition.

Dagur Sigurdsson, Japan’s head coach, said: “Obviously, it is going to be a very tough group for us … both groups are extremely difficult. These are the top 12 nations more or less in the world.”

The top four from the two groups advance to the last eight where the event enters the knockout stage.

The handball tournament starts on 24 July at the Yoyogi National Stadium in Tokyo.

All matches - including the men’s final on 7 August and the women’s showdown the following day - will be played at the venue.

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