2020 Women’s Olympic Qualification Tournaments Preview (Friday- Day 1)

This weekend the final 6 qualifiers for the Women’s Olympic Handball Tournament will be decided.

How to watch the Olympic Qualification Tournaments

  • If you live in a country where there is no TV broadcast the matches should be available on the IHF YouTube Channel. Those matches can be accessed here and I will be posting a daily preview with direct links to each match video (see below).
  • If you live in a country where there is a TV https://www.ihf.info/media-center/news/how-watch-tokyo-handball-qualification-2020-womens-tournamentsbroadcast you may be geo-blocked out of accessing the IHF YouTube Channel. This is often the case even for matches that are not available on YouTube. It is, however, usually possible to watch matches using VPN. More information on how to use VPNWhat I use) (Note: I would encourage handball fans to watch matches on TV when possible as usually get a better picture, but if there isn’t a TV broadcast available where you live… what else are you going to do?)
  • USA Residents: There is no USA TV broadcast and matches should be available on YouTube
  • Canadian Residents: The CBC will be live streaming the matches with English commentary: Link

Would you like to know when and where handball matches can be streamed online year round? If yes, follow Team Handball News on social media for regular updates: Twitter Facebook Instagram

While the U.S. and Canada have started Daylight Saving Time, Europe doesn’t start it until March 28. Because of this CET is currently 5 just hours ahead of US ET. Odds courtesy of Odds Portal.

Tournament 1 Polideportivo Pla de l’Arc, Llíria, Spain)

Current Standings

Overview: This tournament was originally going to be 4 teams, but Senegal withdrew due to ongoing social and economic crisis. On paper Spain and Sweden are huge favorites to advance unless Argentina can pull off a big upset. It’s at least conceivably possible as Argentina played Sweden relatively close at the 2019 World Championships losing 30-23 (14-11).

  • Spain (-1.5) vs Sweden (Friday, 2100 CET / 1600 US ET) Video Link
    • Includes English Language commentary with Paul Bray
    • Barring an upset by Argentina later in the tournament this match will like determine seeding for the Olympic Tournament draw.

Tournament 2 (Audi Aréna, Győr, Hungary)

Current Standings

Overview: While this is a 4 team tournament on paper it’s hard to see Kazakhstan getting a win here. Russia is the defending Olympic Champion and they will be big favorites to advance. Hungary as the host of the tournament has the edge on Serbia and they also easily beat Serbia 38-26 just a few months ago at the European Championships.

  • Kazakhstan vs Hungary (-19.5) (Friday, 1700 CET / 1200 US ET) Video Link
    • Includes English Language commentary with Paul Bray
    • Hungary and Kazakhstan met at the 2019 World Championships and Hungary had an easy 39-15 victory.
  • Russia (-4.5) vs Serbia (Friday, 2000 CET / 1500 US ET) Video Link
    • Russia is a solid favorite over Serbia in this opening match.

Tournament 3 (Verde Complex, Podgorica, Montenegro)

Current Standings

Overview: This tournament was originally going to be in Norway, but had to be moved due to coronavirus restrictions there. It was also supposed to have an Asian Federation team, but one by one they dropped out due to challenges related to the pandemic. Norway, recent winners of the European Championships are the clear favorites and this means that a Montenegro-Romania showdown on Sunday will likely determine who gets the 2nd ticket. At the 2019 World Championships Montenegro edged Romania 27-26.

  • Norway (-4.5) vs Montenegro (Friday, 1930 CET / 1430 US ET) Video Link
    • Norway will have their status as favorites tested by the tourney hosts, Montenegro.