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| Event type

Handball, Men

Date18 – 28 July 1976
StatusOlympic
LocationLe Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec / Centre Claude-Robillard, Montréal, Québec / Pavillon de l'Éducation Physique et des Sports de l'Université Laval, Québec, Québec / Palais des Sports, Sherbrooke, Québec
Participants161 from 12 countries
FormatRound-robin pools advance teams to classification matches.

Unlike at the 1972 Games, only the reigning World Champion (Romania) qualified directly. Still, most other top nations from the 1974 Worlds managed to qualify for the Games. The only notable team missing out was East Germany, which had lost the 1974 final against the Romanians. They were ousted by West Germany (only 9th at the Worlds) on goal difference.

The tournament rules put a strong emphasis on the pool stage of the competition: only the winners of each pool advanced to the next round, with no elimination rounds. In the first pool, three teams finished equal on points: USSR, West Germany and Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia had defeated the Soviets (20-18), but lost to the West Germans (18-17), who in turn had lost to the USSR (18-16). Yugoslavia’s loss in the final group match came as a surprise to the reigning Olympic champions, but they played without focus and shot poorly - missing the Olympic final by just one goal. This put the matter down to goal difference. That meant the advantage went to the Soviet Union, which had demolished Canada 25-9 and Japan 26-16, while the other teams had scored more modest victories against these teams. In the other pool, Romania was clearly standing out, winning three matches while drawing one (the Match against Tunisia was cancelled as they withdrew due to the African boycott).

The Romanians were clear favorites to win the final, being the four time World Champions, while the Soviets’ best performance had been a fourth place in 1967. But the Soviet squad managed to eliminate playmaker Cristian Gaţu very well, while limiting Ştefan Birtalan, who had averaged almost six goals a game to )only) three scores. After 20 minutes, it was 8-3, already, which translated to a half-time score of 10-6. The second half was more evenly matched, but the final result was never much in doubt: 19-15. The bronze was contested by West Germany and Poland. The Poles won by virtue of their leading goalscorer Jerzy Klempel, who would have been the tournament top scorer, had his 15 goals against Tunisia not been stricken from the record after that nation’s withdrawal.

PosNrTeamNOCWTLPtsGoals
1Soviet UnionURS50110130–92Gold
2RomaniaROU3119106–90Silver
3PolandPOL40110101–89Bronze
4West GermanyFRG4028115–97
5YugoslaviaYUG50110131–112
6HungaryHUN2035111–103
7CzechoslovakiaTCH2127110–103
8DenmarkDEN2044113–127
9JapanJPN2044123–131
10United StatesUSA0052100–149
11CanadaCAN005075–122
12TunisiaTUN002021–47

Preliminary Round (18 – 26 July 1976)

Group A (18 – 26 July 1976)

Round-robin pools.

PosNOCWTLPtsGoals
1URS4018111–77
2FRG401897–76
3YUG4018110–93
4DEN203492–102
5JPN104296–111
6CAN005075–122

Match #118 Jul 19:00URS 26 – 16JPN
Match #218 Jul 19:00YUG 22 – 18CAN
Match #318 Jul 19:00FRG 18 – 14DEN
Match #420 Jul 20:30FRG 19 – 16JPN
Match #520 Jul 20:30YUG 25 – 17DEN
Match #620 Jul 20:30URS 25 – 9CAN 1
Match #722 Jul 19:00YUG 20 – 18URS
Match #822 Jul 19:00FRG 26 – 11CAN
Match #922 Jul 19:00DEN 21 – 17JPN
Match #1024 Jul 19:00DEN 24 – 18CAN
Match #1124 Jul 19:00URS 18 – 16FRG
Match #1224 Jul 19:00YUG 26 – 22JPN
Match #1326 Jul 20:30FRG 18 – 17YUG
Match #1426 Jul 19:00JPN 25 – 19CAN
Match #1526 Jul 19:00URS 24 – 16DEN

Group B (18 – 26 July 1976)

Round-robin pools.

PosNOCWTLPtsGoals
1ROU310991–71
2POL301880–71
3HUN202692–82
4TCH112585–82
5USA004280–122
ACTUN002021–472

Match #118 Jul 20:30ROU 23 – 18HUN
Match #218 Jul 20:30TCH 28 – 20USA
Match #318 Jul 20:30POL 26 – 12TUN
Match #420 Jul 19:00TCH 21 – 9TUN 3
Match #520 Jul 19:00ROU 32 – 19USA
Match #620 Jul 19:00POL 18 – 16HUN
Match #722 Jul 20:30HUN 36 – 21USA
Match #822 Jul 20:30POL 21 – 18TCH
Match #924 Jul 19:00POL 26 – 20USA
Match #1024 Jul 19:00ROU 19 – 19TCH
Match #1126 Jul 20:30HUN 22 – 20TCH
Match #1226 Jul 20:30ROU 17 – 15POL

Final Round (27 – 28 July 1976)

Medal round.

Match 1/228 Jul 18:30URS 19 – 15ROU
Match 3/428 Jul 17:00POL 21 – 18FRG
Match 5/627 Jul 19:00YUG 21 – 19HUN
Match 7/827 Jul 15:30TCH 25 – 21DEN
Match 9/1027 Jul 14:00JPN 27 – 20USA

Rankings

Goals / Saves