Results from Last Week’s National Team Competitions

Several National Team Competitions took place last week while the Champions League and many National Leagues took the week off. The results of these competitions should be taken in context as some teams were not at full strength and in some cases coaches were experimenting with their line-ups in preparation for the World Championships next January.

[b]Statoil World Cup[/b]: This competition took place in Sweden and Germany and included pool play, crossovers and placement games. Croatia defeated Tunisia 33-31 in overtime to take the championship and Sweden took 3rd place with a 26-24 victory over Denmark. Anybody thinking that Tunisia’s 4th place finish at the 2005 World Championships was a one time result due to playing at home might want to rethink that assessment. They have a solid team with most of their top players playing in France. I’m not sure what happened to the Spain at this tournament. Even if they weren’t at full strength this is a very disappointing result.

Final Ranking
1) Croatia
2) Tunisia
3) Sweden
4) Denmark
5) Germany
6) Serbia
7) Spain
8 Greece

Statoil World Cup: (in Swedish)
Summary of Results from Tunisian Federation: (in French)

[b]Grundfos Cup[/b]: Poland hosted a round robin tournament with Denmark, Norway, and Portugal. Denmark was able to win this tournament with their 2nd team. Poland’s less then impressive performance at home should give some optimism for Pan American Handball watchers. Poland, along with Germany, Brazil and Argentina will play in the same group at the World Championships. Based on Poland's results at last year’s European Championships and these results it's not outrageous to suggest that Brazil or Argentina could beat Poland and make into the Main Round.

26 Oct 2006
Denmark – Norway (33-29)
Poland – Portugal (36-28)
27 Oct 2006
Norway-Portugal (33-26)
Poland-Denmark (33-35)
28 Oct 2006
Denmark- Portugal (29-25)
Poland-Norway (31-29)

Final Standings
Denmark 3-0-0
Poland 2-0-1
Norway 1-0-2
Portugal 0-0-3

Polish Federation Site:

[b]Qatar International Tournament[/b]: Qatar hosted and won a round-robin tournament with Macedonia, Algeria, and Italy
Goalz Website:

[b]France – Russia Friendly Matches[/b]: France hosted Russia in two friendly matches. France won both games, 31-28 in Marseille and 35-27 in Toulouse I saw most of the 2nd match and France appeared to be in fine form. With Spain’s poor performance this past week, I think they’ve emerged as the clear favorites for the World Championships.

[b]Hungary – Iceland Friendly Matches[/b]: Hungary hosted Iceland for two friendly matches. Hungary won the first match 32-28

[b]Czech Republic Tournament[/b]: The Czech Republic hosted and dominated this tournament. Egypt’s loss to Belgium would seem to indicate that Egypt is continuing to slide further away from the Handball elites.
Czech Federation:

Final Standings
1. Czech Republic 6 Pts
2. Belgium 4 Pts
3. Egypt 2 Pts
4. Fiinland 0 Pts

[b]Switzerland Tournament[/b]: Slovenia is the only participant headed to the World Championships. They won the tournament, but failed to impress. Most indicative was a one goal win vs Israel.
Final Standings
1. Slovenia 3/6 (101:92)
2. Romania 3/4 (109:100)
3. Switzerland 3/2 (91:92)
4. Israel 3/0 (81:98).