Today is the opening day of 24th edition IHF World Handball Championship, today we will introduce you the last and strongest group – Group D. Opening ceremony starts at 19:00 local time or 16:30 GMT time and first (and only) game today will start at 20:30 local (17:30 GMT) between Qatar and Brazil. But let’s get back to our last group:
- Saudi Arabia
We will start with the weakest national team in Group D. For Saudi Arabia this will be their 7th World Handball Championship. Their situation is similar to Iceland; after Bahrain withdraws from World Handball Championship IHF send them invitation. Their best place on WHC was in Portugal (2003) and Spain (2013) was they take 19th place. They have one more Balkan coach Goran Dzokic, from players Mohammed Alzaer has the most matches (130) and most goals scored (180) for national team.
For Argentina this will be their 10th World Handball Championships similar to Saudi Arabia they didn’t have any good results. Their best place was in Sweden (2011) when they took 12th place. Their boss is Eduardo Gallardo and goalkeeper Fernando Garcia is player with most matches for national team (186). Argentina best scorer is Sebastian Simonet who scored 394 goals from 130 games.
Germany position is similar to Iceland and Saudi Arabia, after IHF decide not to allow Australia to compete in WHC they sent invitation to Germany to take their place. For them this will be their 22nd World Handball Championship. They have total 6 medals (3 gold; 2 silver; 1 bronze) but they are at the top of the hosts list, Germany hosted six World Handball Championships until now. Germany boss is Dagur Sigurdsson from Iceland and Carsten Lichtlein has the most appearances (184) for German squad. Michael Kraus is the player with most goals for current national team he scored 391 goal from 118 games.
Russia is one more “old giant” in this group; this is their 19 appearances (8 as Soviet Union and 11 as Russia). Russia is holding fourth place on our medal table with 6 medals (3 gold; 3 silver) but their last medal was in Egypt (1999) when they lost in finals against Sweden. Their coach is Oleg Kuleshov who was member of Russia Olympics team in Athens (2004) where they took bronze medal. Dmitry Kovalev is player with most matches for national team 132 and Konstantin Igropulo is their best scorer with 505 goals.
For Poland this will be their 14th World Handball Championship and they got 1 silver and 2 bronze medal. Their last medal was in Croatia (2009) when they won bronze medal. Michael Biegler is their coach since 2012 and goalkeeper Slawomir Szmal is player with most matches (248). Karol Bielecki is their best goal scorer with 782 goals from 209 games.
Denmark is one of most consist national team in last couple of World Handball Championship. From last four WHC they manage to get 3 medals (1 bronze; 2 silver) on last WHC in Spain they lost in final against Spain. Iceland ex player Gudmundur Gudmundson is their boss and Hans Lidberg is player with most matches (192). Their star player Mikkel Hansen is best scorer with 558 goals from 119 matches.
It will be hard to say who will win this group Denmark is probably the strongest national team here, but we saw in last tests that they still are not in the right form. Poland, Russia and Germany are all teams with good individuals who can easily beat anyone. For Argentina and Saudi Arabia there is little hope that they will see second round.
Round 1 Schedule:
16/01/2015 12:00 GMT – Russia vs. Saudi Arabia
16/01/2015 18:00 GMT – Poland vs. Germany
16/01/2015 18:00 GMT – Denmark vs. Argentina
World Handball Championship: Group D Fixtures & Standings.