| Event type

Handball, Men

Date10 – 24 August 2008
LocationGuojia Tiyuguan, Beijing Aolinpike Gongyuan, Beijing / Ao Ti Zhongxin Tiyuguan, Beijing Aolinpike Gongyuan, Beijing
Participants172 from 12 countries
FormatRound-robin pools advance teams to classification matches.

The 12 men’s teams qualified for the 2008 Olympics as follows – China as the host nation; Germany as the 2007 World Champion; the top six teams from the 2008 Olympic Qualifying Tournament (Poland, Iceland, France, Spain, Croatia, Russia); the 2008 European Champion (Denmark); Brazil as the 2007 Pan American Games Champion; and the winners of the 2007 Asian and 2008 African Olympic Qualifying Tournaments (South Korea and Egypt, respectively).

The story of the 2008 men’s handball competition was that of a country of only 320,000 inhabitants. Despite its size, Iceland had been a handball nation since the 1950s, although they had never medalled internationally. At the 1992 Olympics, they had come closest, losing the bronze medal match to France. At the 2012 Olympics, their pool stage performance was a mixed bag: wins against Russia and World Champion Germany, but also ties to Denmark and Egypt, and a loss to South Korea. In the incredibly tight pool rankings, this placed them third, while the Germans were out. Iceland played Poland in the quarter-finals. Poland had been the runner-up at the 2007 World Championships, and had beaten Iceland at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament. But the Icelanders’ tough defense and accurate fast-breaks put them in a 5-goal lead at half-time, from which the Poles never recovered.

In the semi-finals, Spain awaited. Having twice medalled at the Olympics, Spain had claimed the 2005 world title. But as against Poland, the Icelanders dominated and eventually easily won 36-30 to earn their first ever spot in a major international final. Hoping to claim the nation’s first ever gold medal, Iceland faced France in the final. The country’s president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, who called it the “biggest moment in Icelandic sports history”, was in attendance at the National Indoor Stadium, while most of the country came to a halt to watch the game on television. But the French, who had been favored for the gold back in Athens 2004, opened up a four goal lead, supported by their strong goalkeeper Thierry Omeyer. In the second half France, even increased its lead to a huge 9 points, but the match eventually ended in a 28-23 victory for the French. As with Iceland, it was France’s first ever Olympic medal in handball. In the match for bronze, defending champions Croatia failed to medal, losing 35-29 to Spain.

Right Back2Jérôme Fernandez
Pivot3Didier Dinart
Right Back4Cédric Burdet
Pivot5Guillaume Gille
Center Back6Bertrand Gille
Center Back8Daniel Narcisse
Left Wing11Olivier Girault
Goalkeeper12Daouda Karaboué
Left Back13Nikola Karabatic
Pivot14Christophe Kempé
Goalkeeper16Thierry Omeyer
Right Back18Joël Abati
Right Wing19Luc Abalo
Left Wing21Michaël Guigou
Left Back26Cédric Paty
CoachClaude Onesta
Goalkeeper1Björgvin Gústavsson
Left Back3Logi Geirsson
Pivot5Sigfús Sigurðsson
Right Back6Ásgeir Örn Hallgrímsson
Left Back7Arnór Atlason
Left Wing9Guðjón Valur Sigurðsson
Center Back10Snorri Guðjónsson
Right Back11Ólafur Stefánsson
Left Wing14Sturla Ásgeirsson
Right Wing15Alexander Petersson
Goalkeeper16Hreiðar Guðmundsson
Pivot17Sverre Jakobsson
Pivot18Róbert Gunnarsson
Left Back19Ingimundur Ingimundarson
CoachGuðmundur Guðmundsson
Goalkeeper1José Javier Hombrados
Left Back2Alberto Entrerríos
Right Wing4Albert Rocas
Center Back5Raúl Entrerríos
Pivot6Rubén Garabaya
Pivot7Carlos Prieto
Right Back8Jon Belaustegui
Left Back11Demetrio Lozano
Left Wing15David Davis
Goalkeeper16David Barrufet
Left Wing17Juanín García
Left Back18Iker Romero
Right Back21Cristian Malmagro
Right Wing27Víctor Tomás
CoachFélix Brocate
Goalkeeper1Venio Losert
Pivot3Renato Sulić
Center Back4Ivano Balić
Center Back5Domagoj Duvnjak
Left Back6Blaženko Lacković
Pivot9Igor Vori
Center Back10Davor Dominiković
Right Wing11Mirza Džomba
Right Wing13Zlatko Horvat
Center Back14Drago Vuković
Left Wing17Goran Šprem
Right Back19Petar Metličić
Left Wing23Ljubo Vukić
Left Back24Tonči Valčić
Goalkeeper25Mirko Alilović
CoachIvica Udovičić
Goalkeeper1Sławomir Szmal
Center Back2Bartłomiej Jaszka
Right Back3Krzysztof Lijewski
Left Wing5Mateusz Jachlewski
Center Back6Grzegorz Tkaczyk
Left Back8Karol Bielecki
Pivot9Artur Siódmiak
Pivot13Bartosz Jurecki
Right Wing14Mariusz Jurasik
Left Back15Michał Jurecki
Goalkeeper16Marcin Wichary
Left Wing19Tomasz Tłuczyński
Right Back22Marcin Lijewski
Right Wing28Paweł Piwko
CoachDaniel Waszkiewicz
6Russian FederationRUS
Goalkeeper1Oleg Grams
Center Back2Vasily Filippov
Right Back6Denis Krivoshlykov
Pivot8Yegor Yevdokimov
Pivot10Aleksandr Chernovyanov
Left Back15Aleksey Rastvortsev
Goalkeeper16Aleksey Kostygov
Right Back17Aleksey Kamanin
Left Back19Samvel Aslanyan
Left Wing23Eduard Koksharov
Right Wing25Dmitry Kovalyov
Left Wing31Timur Dibirov
Right Back35Konstantin Igropulo
Center Back77Vitaly Ivanov
CoachVladimir Maksimov
Goalkeeper1Kasper Hvidt
Left Back4Lasse Boesen
Right Back6Lars Jørgensen
Center Back7Jesper Jensen
Left Wing9Lars Christiansen
Goalkeeper12Peter Henriksen
Left Back13Bo Spellerberg
Left Back15Mikkel Hansen
Pivot19Jesper Nøddesbo
Right Back22Kasper Søndergaard
Center Back23Joachim Boldsen
Right Wing24Hans Lindberg
Right Back25Klavs Bruun Jørgensen
Left Back26Kasper Nielsen
Michael V. Knudsen DNS
CoachUlrik Wilbek
8Republic of KoreaKOR
Goalkeeper1Han Gyeong-Tae
Center Back2Jeong Ui-Gyeong
Left Wing6Kim Tae-Wan
Right Wing7Jeong Su-Yeong
Pivot8Park Jung-Gyu
Pivot10Park Chan-Yong
Right Back13Yun Gyeong-Sin
Right Wing14Jo Chi-Hyo
Left Wing15Lee Tae-Yeong
Goalkeeper16Gang Il-Gu
Right Back17Lee Jae-U
Left Back18Baek Won-Cheol
Center Back20Go Gyeong-Su
Left Back23Yun Gyeong-Min
CoachKim Tae-Hoon
Goalkeeper1Henning Fritz
Left Back2Pascal Hens
Pivot4Oliver Roggisch
Left Wing5Dominik Klein
Pivot8Christian Schwarzer
Center Back10Oliver Köhrmann
Right Back11Holger Glandorf
Goalkeeper12Johannes Bitter
Left Back13Sven-Sören Christophersen
Right Back14Christian Zeitz
Left Wing15Torsten Jansen
Pivot17Andrej Klimovets
Right Back18Michael Kraus
Right Wing19Florian Kehrmann
Center Back24Michael Haaß
CoachMartin Heuberger
Left Back4Hussein Mabrouk
Right Wing5Moustafa Hussein
Right Back6Ahmed El-Ahmar
Pivot8Mohamed Ramadan
Right Back10Abouelfetoh Abdelrazek
Center Back11Mahmoud Hassaballah
Goalkeeper12Hamada Bakir El-Nakib
Left Back14Hassan Mabrouk
Left Back15Mohamed Abd El-Salam
Goalkeeper16Walid Abdel Maksoud
Left Wing17Belal Mabrouk
Pivot18Hany El-Fakharany
Center Back19Hassan Yousry
Left Back20Hussain Zaky
CoachIrfan Smajlagić
Goalkeeper1 Maik
Right Back3 Zeba
Pivot5 Menta
Right Wing7 Tupan
Left Back8Bruno Souza
Center Back9 Léo
Left Wing10 Helinho
Goalkeeper12Alê Vasconcelos
Right Wing13 Silvinho
Pivot14Alê Rodrigues
Left Wing17Felipe Borges
Center Back18Bruno Santana
Pivot19 Jardel
Left Back28 Gui
CoachJordi Ribera
12People's Republic of ChinaCHN
Pivot2Cui Liang
Center Back3Zhu Jie
Pivot5Yan Liang
Right Back6Cui Lei
Center Back7Zhang Ji
Pivot8Zhou Xiaojian
Right Wing10Li Hexin
Left Wing11Zhang Xing
Goalkeeper12Wang Long
Right Wing13Wang Xiaolong
Left Back14Tian Jianxia
Goalkeeper16Ye Qiang
Left Back18Hao Kexin
Right Back19Miao Qing
Left Wing20Zhu Wenxin
CoachYan Weiming

Preliminary Round

Date10 – 18 August 2008

Group A

6People's Republic of ChinaCHN0050104-164
Match #110 Aug 9:00CroatiaCRO31 – 29SpainESP
Match #210 Aug 14:00FranceFRA34 – 26BrazilBRA
Match #310 Aug 19:00PolandPOL33 – 19People's Republic of ChinaCHN
Match #412 Aug 9:00CroatiaCRO33 – 14BrazilBRA
Match #512 Aug 14:00FranceFRA33 – 19People's Republic of ChinaCHN
Match #612 Aug 15:45SpainESP30 – 29PolandPOL
Match #714 Aug 10:45PolandPOL28 – 25BrazilBRA
Match #814 Aug 15:45SpainESP36 – 22People's Republic of ChinaCHN
Match #914 Aug 20:45FranceFRA23 – 19CroatiaCRO
Match #1016 Aug 9:00BrazilBRA29 – 22People's Republic of ChinaCHN
Match #1116 Aug 14:00FranceFRA28 – 21SpainESP
Match #1216 Aug 19:00PolandPOL27 – 24CroatiaCRO
Match #1318 Aug 10:45SpainESP36 – 35BrazilBRA
Match #1418 Aug 15:45CroatiaCRO33 – 22People's Republic of ChinaCHN
Match #1518 Aug 20:45FranceFRA30 – 30PolandPOL

Group B

1Republic of KoreaKOR3026122-129
4Russian FederationRUS2125136-131
Match #110 Aug 10:45IcelandISL33 – 31Russian FederationRUS
Match #210 Aug 15:45GermanyGER27 – 23Republic of KoreaKOR
Match #310 Aug 20:45DenmarkDEN23 – 23EgyptEGY
Match #412 Aug 10:45Russian FederationRUS28 – 27EgyptEGY
Match #512 Aug 19:00Republic of KoreaKOR31 – 30DenmarkDEN
Match #612 Aug 20:45IcelandISL33 – 29GermanyGER
Match #714 Aug 9:00GermanyGER25 – 23EgyptEGY
Match #814 Aug 14:00Republic of KoreaKOR22 – 21IcelandISL
Match #914 Aug 19:00DenmarkDEN25 – 24Russian FederationRUS
Match #1016 Aug 10:45Republic of KoreaKOR24 – 22EgyptEGY
Match #1116 Aug 15:45GermanyGER24 – 24Russian FederationRUS
Match #1216 Aug 20:45DenmarkDEN32 – 32IcelandISL
Match #1318 Aug 9:00EgyptEGY32 – 32IcelandISL
Match #1418 Aug 14:00Russian FederationRUS29 – 22Republic of KoreaKOR
Match #1518 Aug 19:00DenmarkDEN27 – 21GermanyGER


Date20 August 2008
FormatWinner of each match advanced to semi-finals.
Match #120 Aug 12:00FranceFRA27 – 24Russian FederationRUS
Match #220 Aug 14:15IcelandISL32 – 30PolandPOL
Match #320 Aug 18:00CroatiaCRO26 – 24DenmarkDEN
Match #420 Aug 20:15SpainESP29 – 24Republic of KoreaKOR

Classification Round 5-8

Date22 August 2008
FormatClassification matches.
Match #122 Aug 12:00Russian FederationRUS28 – 27DenmarkDEN
Match #222 Aug 14:15PolandPOL29 – 26Republic of KoreaKOR


Date22 August 2008
FormatWinner of each match advanced to final round.
Match #122 Aug 18:00FranceFRA25 – 23CroatiaCRO
Match #222 Aug 20:15IcelandISL36 – 30SpainESP

Final Round

Date24 August 2008
FormatMedal round.
Match 1/224 Aug 15:45FranceFRA28 – 23IcelandISL
Match 3/424 Aug 13:30SpainESP35 – 29CroatiaCRO
Match 5/624 Aug 10:15PolandPOL29 – 28Russian FederationRUS
Match 7/824 Aug 8:00DenmarkDEN37 – 26Republic of KoreaKOR