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| Event type

Handball, Men

Date29 July – 12 August 2012
StatusOlympic
LocationCopper Box, Olympic Park, Stratford, London
Participants176 from 12 countries
FormatRound-robin pools advance teams to classification matches.

The men’s field was strong. The top 7 nations of the 2011 World Championships all qualified for the Games. There was one nation standing out, however: France. As the reigning Olympic champions, they had also claimed the 2009 and 2011 world titles. The only blemish on their record was the 2012 European Championships, where they finished only 10th (after winning the 2010 edition). That title had gone to Denmark, which had also been runner-up at the World Championships, and could thus be seen as the chief challenger of the French.

The pool matches provided little surprises, but the quarter-finals were all closely fought. Hungary beat 2008 silver medallists Iceland 34-33 after two extra time periods, while France beat Spain despite a three-goal deficit at half-time. Croatia had also been behind against Tunisia but prevailed, as did Sweden, which ousted neighbours Denmark. As in 2008, France and Croatia met in the semi-finals, and as then, the French won, bringing them very close to becoming the first ever team to retain an Olympic handball title. Sweden earned a one-goal win over Hungary for their nation’s fourth Olympic final berth, having lost the previous three. The two finalists had also played each other in the group phase, France winning 29-26 over the Scandinavians.

Cheered on by a large contingent of French supporters, the defending champions set down a strong defense, with a leading role for goalie Thierry Omeyer. At the break, the score was only 10-8, and the match remained tight throughout the second half. The closing stages were exciting. With just a minute on the clock, Niclas Ekberg brought Sweden back within one goal of the French. Luc Abalo responded quickly with a powerful shot to make it 22-20. That goal proved decisive, despite Sweden making it 22-21 with just 23 seconds on the clock.

In October 2012, it became known that several French handball players were investigated in a match-fixing scandal in the French competition. Among those questioned as part of the investigation were Nikola Karabatic, France’s handball star and Samuel Honrubia, both on the gold medal team.

PosNrTeamNOCWTLPtsGoals
1FranceFRA70114229–175Gold1
2SwedenSWE50310228–185Silver2
3CroatiaCRO70114230–183Bronze4
4HungaryHUN3056200–2215
5IcelandISL50110200–1666
6DenmarkDEN4028146–1537
7SpainESP3036162–1498
8TunisiaTUN2044144–1509
9SerbiaSRB1042120–13110
10ArgentinaARG1042113–13811
11Republic of KoreaKOR0050115–14012
12Great BritainGBR005096–19213

Preliminary Round (29 July – 6 August 2012)

Group A (29 July – 6 August 2012)

Round-robin pools.

PosNOCWTLPtsGoals
1ISL50010167–132
2FRA4018159–110
3SWE3026156–115
4TUN2034121–125
5ARG1042113–138
6GBR005096–192

Match #129 Jul 9:30ISL 31 – 25ARG
Match #229 Jul 14:30SWE 28 – 21TUN
Match #329 Jul 19:30FRA 44 – 15GBR
Match #431 Jul 11:15ISL 1432 – 22TUN 15
Match #531 Jul 16:15SWE 41 – 19GBR
Match #631 Jul 21:15FRA 32 – 20ARG
Match #702 Aug 11:15FRA 1625 – 19TUN 17
Match #802 Aug 16:15ARG 1832 – 21GBR 19
Match #902 Aug 21:15ISL 2033 – 32SWE 21
Match #1004 Aug 9:30TUN 34 – 17GBR 22
Match #1104 Aug 14:30SWE 29 – 13ARG
Match #1204 Aug 19:30ISL 30 – 29FRA
Match #1306 Aug 11:15TUN 25 – 23ARG
Match #1406 Aug 16:15ISL 41 – 24GBR
Match #1506 Aug 21:15FRA 29 – 26SWE

Group B (29 July – 6 August 2012)

Round-robin pools.

PosNOCWTLPtsGoals
1CRO50010150–109
2DEN4018124–129
3ESP3026140–126
4HUN2034114–128
5SRB1042120–131
6KOR0050115–140

Match #129 Jul 11:15CRO 31 – 21KOR
Match #229 Jul 16:15ESP 26 – 21SRB
Match #329 Jul 21:15DEN 2327 – 25HUN
Match #431 Jul 11:15HUN 2422 – 19KOR 25
Match #531 Jul 16:15CRO 31 – 23SRB 26
Match #631 Jul 21:15DEN 2724 – 23ESP 28
Match #702 Aug 9:30ESP 2933 – 29KOR 30
Match #802 Aug 14:30CRO 3126 – 19HUN
Match #902 Aug 19:30DEN 3226 – 25SRB 33
Match #1004 Aug 11:15SRB 28 – 22KOR
Match #1104 Aug 16:15CRO 32 – 21DEN
Match #1204 Aug 21:15ESP 33 – 22HUN 34
Match #1306 Aug 9:30HUN 3526 – 23SRB 36
Match #1406 Aug 14:30DEN 3726 – 24KOR 38
Match #1506 Aug 19:30CRO 3930 – 25ESP

Quarter-Finals (8 August 2012)

Winner of each match advanced to semi-finals.

Match #108 Aug 11:00HUN 4034 – 33ISL
Match #208 Aug 14:30SWE 4124 – 22DEN 42
Match #308 Aug 18:00FRA 4323 – 22ESP 44
Match #408 Aug 21:30CRO 4525 – 23TUN 46

Semi-Finals (10 August 2012)

Winner of each match advanced to final round.

Match #110 Aug 17:00SWE 4727 – 26HUN 48
Match #210 Aug 20:30FRA 4925 – 22CRO 50

Final Round (12 August 2012)

Medal round.

Match 1/212 Aug 15:00FRA 5122 – 21SWE 52
Match 3/412 Aug 11:00CRO 33 – 26HUN 53

Rankings

Goals / Saves
Assists
Steals
Blocked Shots