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Ivan13 07-25-2012 07:41 AM

Handball
 
At the London Olympics there going to be a handball tournament for both men and women. Mens tournament starts at 29th of July at 10:30 AM CET, women's tournament starts at 28th of July at 10:30 AM CET. CET is 6 hours ahead of ET.

In both women's and men's competition there's going to be 2 groups with 6 teams in each group. 4 teams advance from each group forming 4 quarter-finals couples, winner of the group A plays against 4th placed team in group B, 2nd placed team in group A plays against 3rd placed team in group B and so on.

I'll do a little break-down of each group in a couple of posts below.

And for those who aren't familiar with it this is handball:






Ivan13 07-25-2012 07:42 AM

Men's handball tournament
 
Men's group A
TeamGPWDLGFGAGDPoints
France00000000
Sweden00000000
Iceland00000000
Great Britain00000000
Argentina00000000
Tunisia00000000

Group A is by far the weaker group of the two, France and Iceland are two clear cut favourites for two top spots, with Sweden and Tunisia as favourites for the other two spots that lead to QF's.

France - one of the greatest handball teams ever assembled and a true power house in every sense of the word. They had a poor showing at the last European championship, so they'll be motivated to prove the doubters who are saying that they're getting too old wrong. Their biggest stars are Nikola Karabatić (a powerfull left/center back and an offensive catalyst for their team), Thierry Omeyer (argubly the best goalie in the world) and the mastermind behind it all, their coach Claude Onesta.

Their trademark is a rough, borderline dirty play in 5-1 or 6-0 system defense (led by Didier Dinart) and offense based on power and speed rather than on creativity.

Sweden - once a powerfull handballing nation, they've fallen quite a bit and they're looking to get back to where they were led by their young guns. They have great goalies, but the rest of their team is lacking outside of left wing Jonas Kallman and right back (and their biggest star) Kim Andersson.

They play in a 6-0 zone (typical Scandinavian) which forces shots from the outside.

Iceland - handball is their #1 sport and they're in the upper class of world handball. They're led by two of the biggest handball stars in Olafur Stefansson (a right back who's a true handball legend) and Aron Palmarsson (center back and heir apparent to Olafur's throne).

They're a fast team that likes to run and their games are always highly entertaining.

Great Britain - a complete outsider, they're in the tournament onyl because GB is hosting this Olympics.

Argentina - another outsider, but they can be a decent opponent and they might catch some of the higher ranked nations off guard.

Tunisia - a team whose form is impossible to predict, they can beat anyone in the world and they can lose to virtualy anyone in the world. They play a wild brand of handball which is most notable when they go to play in an 3-3 zone defense or when they play man defense which is a rarity in European handball.

Men's group B
TeamGPWDLGFGAGDPoints
Spain00000000
Croatia00000000
Hungary00000000
Serbia00000000
Denmark00000000
South Korea00000000

A true group of death. Every team in this group can beat other teams in the group. I'd put Spain, Denmark and Croatia in the tier that will fight for #1 spot but any of team from the group of Serbia, Hungary and S. Korea can surprise those three.

Spain - power-house nation whose biggest star is their coach. They're a team that relies on their defense, their goalie (Arpad Šterbik who's IMHO the best in the world) and quick counter-attacks. They're a true candidate for gold.

Croatia - another perennial power, they have a really deep bench, they're loaded with star power at each position like France and they're one of the favourites for the gold. Their biggest star is Ivano Balić (who was voted as the best handballer of all times by the IHF). Their biggest weakness is their inexperienced coach and at times suspect goaltending. They're a team whose mentality is defense first (they can play any zone from 3-2-1 to 6-0 and that's what makes them tough to prepare for) and they love to score of the counter-attack using their wing players like Štrlek, Ninčević, Čupić and Horvat.

Hungary - a nation that's always close to the best, but they can't make that final step. They play an agressive and dirty defense and their main star is a big right back named Laszlo Nagy. They could mess up plans of bigger teams and when they're at their best they can beat anyone.

Serbia - after years of mediocrity they're starting to make a comeback towards the very top. They managed to win silver at the last Euro's in Serbia and now they need to show that wasn't a fluke in their home country. Another team that plays tough defense and uses counter attacks, but their biggest stars are world class goalie Stanić, free shooting left back Momir Ilić and a free shooting right back Marko Vujin.

Denmark - powerhouse team with shot first ask questions later mentality. They play tough defense, but they're better known for their fast play and free flowing attack. Their biggest star and the best left back in the world is Mikkel Hansen. They're the current European champion from this years Euros. Their one weakness can be goaltending.

South Korea - fast team that always tries to run their opponent out of the building. They aren't a top team like their fellow women's team, but they're known for making life miserable for nations of higher profile because of the way they play.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I'll update the tables each day according to results.

Ivan13 07-25-2012 07:42 AM

Women's tournament
 
Women's group A
TeamGPWDLGFGAGDPoints
Montenegro00000000
Russia00000000
Croatia00000000
Great Britain00000000
Brazil00000000
Angola00000000

Every team outside of GB has a chance to advance. Russia is the clear cut favourite for #1 spot and after that it's really hard to say who can win. Brazil and Angola are a bit wild and inconssistent and Montenegro and Croatia are good teams, but nothing special.

Women's group B
TeamGPWDLGFGAGDPoints
France00000000
Sweden00000000
Norway00000000
Spain00000000
South Korea00000000
Denmark00000000

IMHO a much better group than group A, there's a lot of gold medal candidates here with Norway leading the way. I'm looking forward to Norway vs S. Korea, those games are always fun.

If someone wants to do a more detailed break-down of females competition it's welcomed. I don't follow women's handball as close as men's, so any help I can get will be much appreciated.

CZechSenator 07-25-2012 07:54 AM

I am still mad about our horrible performance at European Championship 2012. It was so disappointing. I honestly thought we can go at least to Olympic qualification. Well we were too dependant on Jícha and he didn't play as good as in 2010, so bad luck. Even more sad is, that it was our best in chance in years.

Handball is pretty exciting sport though, i'll definitely be watching even without Czech team participating.

Ivan13 07-25-2012 08:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CZechSenator (Post 52938657)
I am still mad about our horrible performance at European Championship 2012. It was so disappointing. I honestly thought we can go at least to Olympic qualification. Well we were too dependant on Jícha and he didn't play as good as in 2010, so bad luck. Even more sad is, that it was our best in chance in years.

Handball is pretty exciting sport though, i'll definitely be watching even without Czech team participating.

Jicha is great, but until they add some more high end talent (and Jan Filip isn't getting younger) Czech Rep. will be a good team that can do some damage, but nothing more.

Jevo 07-25-2012 10:24 AM

I don't have much hope for Denmarks womens team, but it's a young team that still needs to grow, with some luck they could make it out of the group though. I like the mens chances much more, unfortunately we ended up in the strongest group, but as long as we don't end 4th and has to face France in the QF anything can happen. I'm looking forward to seeing Argentina, at the last WC they played really well and very entertaining, hopefully they still do that. Also, I feel sorry for the GB teams, it's just gonna be a huge embarrassment every game, it'll be like watching a car crash, horrible to watch, but for some reason you can't look away.

Ivan13 07-25-2012 10:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jevo (Post 52942671)
I don't have much hope for Denmarks womens team, but it's a young team that still needs to grow, with some luck they could make it out of the group though. I like the mens chances much more, unfortunately we ended up in the strongest group, but as long as we don't end 4th and has to face France in the QF anything can happen. I'm looking forward to seeing Argentina, at the last WC they played really well and very entertaining, hopefully they still do that. Also, I feel sorry for the GB teams, it's just gonna be a huge embarrassment every game, it'll be like watching a car crash, horrible to watch, but for some reason you can't look away.

It's a shame Danish women's team isn't as strong as it used to be.

As for the men's competition, yes their group is pretty strong and despite the fact that they won the last Euro, they looked shaky the whole tournament until the semifinals came along, if there was some other team instead of a bad Slovak team in their group they could've ended up out of the Euro's in the 1st group stage. They got a bit of help from other teams and Hansen exploded, I hope he has a great tournament again (except in game(s) Croatia), because he's a joy to watch when he's in the zone.

Starsfan24 07-25-2012 04:03 PM

Handball's awesome. Can't wait to watch it as much as I can.

joe89 07-26-2012 02:52 PM

I miss the old days when Sweden came into the Championships with high hopes of winning. Although the silvermedals were heartbreaking.. At least the group promises a QF birth, and then you're only one game away from the medal rounds. I don't have high hopes though, this team has terrible coaching and Kim Andersson rarely shows brilliance with the National team. Our goalies will have to stand on their head, and then some.

The women are in the group of death, but I guess it makes for an easier quarter final if they manage to advance. I don't know much about their chances overall, but they're a young group looking up.

It's nice to have teams on both sides anyway, a lot of games to watch!

Ivan13 07-27-2012 10:01 AM

Women's tournament starts tommorow with Russia and Angola opening the competition.

Schedule for 28th of July:

Group A

10:30AM CET, 4:30AM ET, Russia vs Angola

3:30PM CET, 9:30AM ET, Croatia vs Brazil

8:30PM CET, 2:30PM ET, Montenegro vs Great Britain

Group B

12:15PM CET, 6:15AM ET, Spain vs South Korea

5:15PM CET, 11:15AM ET, Denmark vs Sweden

10:15PM CET, 4:15PM ET, France vs Norway

Fel 96 07-27-2012 01:36 PM

As a former handball player, I'm disappointed they don't broadcast the events in both Canada and USA.

Great and physical sport.

Ivan13 07-27-2012 01:43 PM

If anyone from USA or Canada wants to watch handball, just PM me and I'll send them links for live-streams.

penaltykiller 07-27-2012 08:21 PM

Thanks for the information Ivan13 , very appreciated !

saskriders 07-27-2012 08:24 PM

CBC has pretty good coverage for sports Canada is not a contender, but I wish they showed more handball

Still better than NBC though

End on a Hinote 07-27-2012 08:30 PM

Just watch some for the first time, this sport has some potential!

Fel 96 07-27-2012 08:33 PM

It's awesome.

Way too unknown in Canada though...

Ivan13 07-28-2012 03:37 AM

Russia and Angola just started their game.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Russia up 16-11 at halftime, as expected.

Russia wins 30-27. It was a crazy game, Russia led by 8 goals at one time in the 2nd half, they blew the whole lead in less then 10mins and they barely won in the end thanks to their goalkeeper. She was great at the end of the game.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Spain vs S. Korea game is about to start. S. Korea and their run and gun handball is always fun to watch.

Ivan13 07-28-2012 05:20 AM

You can follow handball and other sports using this link:

http://www.eurovisionsports.tv/londo...?video_id=7938

Enjoy!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Link for North Americans:

http://www.nbcolympics.com/liveextra/

Ivan13 07-28-2012 06:48 AM

S. Korea completey outplayed Spain and won 31-27. Anyone who wants to watch great, fast paced, creative and entertaining handball should watch S. Korean women's national team.

Croatia vs Brazil is the next game up, it's starts in about 1:45h. I hope our girls will win this one.

vsk92 07-28-2012 08:32 AM

Women's Croatia v Brazil

Croatia score first :handclap:

Shrimper 07-28-2012 08:49 AM

Enjoying the handball. V.fun.

Ivan13 07-28-2012 09:09 AM

This isn't a very good game. Way too many mistakes by our girls, they should slow down a little bit, Brazil's goalie is also playing fantastic. Andrea Penezić (best left back at the last world championship and by far our best player) was absolutely terrible in the 1st half.

Starsfan24 07-28-2012 09:57 AM

Brazil up on Croatia 24-22.

Starsfan24 07-28-2012 09:58 AM

Brazil wins it 24-23.

Ivan13 07-28-2012 09:58 AM

Terrible and very disappointing game by Croatia. Brazil wins 24-23. Their goalie was unreal, 24 saves, that's amazing for handball.


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