France, Poland and Croatia have all qualified for the Olympics, but 2nd place is still undecided in all 3 tournaments. In tournament 1, Sweden and Iceland will battle it out. Sweden only needs a draw to advance and Iceland must win. In tournament 2, the Tunisia – Spain match will likely decide 2nd. If Spain wins or draws they will qualify for Beijing. If Tunisia wins they will qualify if France draws or beats Norway. A Norwegian victory on the other hand would likely qualify Norway as they would probably have a better overall goal differential. Finally, the Japan – Russia match is technically a showdown as well. If the Japanese indeed pull off the monster upset they will head to Beijing and send the Russians home.
[b]Commentary on the video streaming:[/b] If you’re thinking that the video quality just isn’t worth your time, you might want to reconsider and check it out. I’ve certainly complained in the past about the quality of the video streaming made available by the IHF, but this time around I‘ve only got some minor complaints. I watched the France – Spain and Poland – Iceland matches and it was a decent viewing experience. Particularly, the Paris match which appeared to have a higher bit rate than the match from Wroclaw. Additionally, most of the matches are available on demand and thankfully the final scores are not placed on the video access page. A simple thing, but it was great to watch both matches without knowing the final score for once. My only complaint was that the Tunisia – Norway match was not available as due to a glitch it was linked to the France – Spain game by mistake.