Eight European women's teams vie for tickets to Rio 2016Article
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Six tickets to this year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro are at stake when the women's qualification tournaments take place from 18 to 20 March

Eight European women's teams vie for tickets to Rio 2016

It is a chance that only comes around every four years and that is the reason why the stakes are so high when it comes to the Olympic qualification.

Starting on Friday and finishing on Sunday (20 March), twelve teams, seeded in three tournaments of four teams each, fight for the last six tickets remaining to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The first two teams from each tournament qualify.

Among the twelve are eight European squads that hope to join Brazil, Spain, Angola, Argentina, South Korea and Norway, the six teams that already have secured their berth at Rio 2016.

The first tournament is hosted by France, where in Metz the host World Championship 2015 silver medallists Netherlands as well as Japan and Tunisia.

"The first match against the Netherlands will be really difficult. But if we win this game, we have made a huge step towards the qualification," says Camille Ayglon-Saurina.

The second is hosted by Denmark. And despite the home advantage it is not an easy task for the hosts as they face World Championship 2015 silver medallists Romania, the team they lost against in the World Championship Quarter-final, EHF EURO 2012 champions Montenegro and Uruguay.

Three teams from Europe are also in the mix in the third tournament in which hosts Russia, who over the past weekend became the first team to qualify for the EHF EURO 2016 in Sweden, face Poland, Sweden and Mexico.

"Following our matches against Hungary (24:27, 26:25) in the EHF EURO qualification, we are full of optimism. We beat Russia at the World Championship 2015 and only lost by one to Sweden; we know we have to fight from start to finish," says Poland goalkeeper Weronika Gawlik.

TEXT: EHF / ts