Eight European teams in race for six remaining Olympic ticketsArticle
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NEWS: While France and Netherlands have already secured their place in the women’s handball event at the 2020 Olympics, the qualification tournaments in March will feature eight more teams from Europe, including 2016 gold medallists Russia

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Eight European teams in race for six remaining Olympic tickets

Winning the IHF Women’s World Championship 2019 in Japan has given Netherlands not only their first major international title.

The Dutch team also earned direct qualification to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, joining France who had already qualified a year ago by winning their home EHF EURO 2018.

The Olympic women’s handball tournament will feature 12 teams. Apart from Netherlands and France, four more nations are guaranteed their starting berth: Japan (organisers), South Korea (Asian champions), Angola (African champions) and Brazil (Pan-American champions).

That leaves six open spots, which will be allocated to all winners and runners-up of three Olympic qualification tournaments. These three four-team events will be played on 20-22 March 2020, with the host venue to be decided in due time.

Following the conclusion of the World Championship, the Olympic qualifiying groups are as follows:

Qualification tournament 1: Spain (2nd at WCh), Sweden (7th at WCh), Senegal (3rd best continent Africa), Argentina (4th best continent Pan-America)
Qualification tournament 2: Russia (3rd at WCh), Serbia (6th at WCh), China (2nd best continent 1 Asia), Hungary (best continent 2 Europe)
Qualification tournament 3: Norway (4th at WCh), Montenegro (5th at WCh), Romania (best continent 1 Europe), North Korea (2nd best continent 2 Asia)

The women’s handball tournament at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will run from 26 July through 9 August 2020.

Photo courtesy of IHF

Update 20 December: The IHF Council has awarded the qualification tournaments to the following nations. Tournament 1 will take place in Spain, tournament 2 will take place in Hungary. Tournament 3 will take place in Montenegro.

TEXT: EHF / ew