| Event type

Handball, Men

Date20 – 30 July 1980
LocationDvorets sporta Dynamo, Moskva / Dvorets sporta Sokolniki, Mosvka
Participants164 from 12 countries
FormatRound-robin pools advance teams to classification matches.

The first six teams of the 1978 World Championships qualified for Moscow, but the champion West Germans withdrew because of the boycott. Otherwise, the event had a strong line-up, even though two weaker nations, African champion Tunisia and Asian champion Japan, also boycotted, and they were replaced by Algeria and Kuwait respectively.

As in 1976, the winners of the pools qualified for the final directly, making the pool matches of vital importance. In Pool A, the East Germans didn’t have too much trouble reaching first place. They were held to a draw by Hungary (14-14), but as the Hungarians had also drawn against Poland, they held matters in their own hand. The fourth pool match against Poland was close (22-21), but East Germany reached the final. The second pool was much closer. Yugoslavia turned their match against Romania around, trailing 10-16 in the second half but winning 23-21 eventually. The Soviets failed to beat Romania (19-22), despite the fact that they had led 15-9 at half-time and that one of the Romanians was sent off at 19-20. This meant the final pool match between the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia was decisive: if the Soviets won by four or more goals, they would reach the final. The home nation pulled off that feat (22-17), helped by goalkeeper Mykola Tomin, who stopped five penalty shots.

The final, between the second and third finishers at the World Championships, was as close as could be expected. At half-time, the score was 10-10, and at full time both teams had double their scores: 20-20 - the Soviets having equalized a mere 22 seconds before the final whistle. Aleksandre Anp’ilogovi scored the first goal of overtime, the Soviets then saw a penalty shot stopped by East German goalie Wieland Schmidt, who had also saved at 16-18. The DDR then rallied to pull ahead 23-21. Anp’ilogovi scored again in the final minute, but the scored remained at 23-22, giving the Germans their first Olympic title. Scorer of the final German goal, Hans-Georg Beyer, enjoyed a successful family Olympics: his brother Udo won a shot put bronze (he was the 1976 champion), while sister Gisela came fourth in the discus throw.

The team coming in last was Kuwait. They had qualified because first Japan and then South Korea had forfeited their place due to their nations’ boycott of the Games. They lost all six of their matches, averaging 14.6 goals for and 34.6 against. Against Yugoslavia, they lost 44-10. The goal difference from that match, 34, is still an Olympic record as of 2008. It also remains a record for goals scored by a male team in one match. The record was equalled in 2000 (Sweden-Australia 44-23) although the Austrian women beat Brazil 45-26 at those same Olympics.

1East GermanyGDR–––Gold
2Soviet UnionURS–––Silver

Preliminary Round (20 – 28 July 1980)

Group A (20 – 28 July 1980)

Round-robin pools.


Match #120 Jul 17:00DEN 30 – 18CUB
Match #220 Jul 18:30HUN 20 – 20POL
Match #320 Jul 20:00GDR 21 – 17ESP
Match #422 Jul 17:00POL 34 – 19CUB
Match #522 Jul 18:30ESP 20 – 19DEN
Match #622 Jul 20:00GDR 14 – 14HUN
Match #724 Jul 17:00HUN 20 – 17ESP
Match #824 Jul 18:30POL 26 – 12DEN
Match #924 Jul 20:00GDR 27 – 20CUB
Match #1026 Jul 17:00CUB 24 – 24ESP
Match #1126 Jul 18:30HUN 16 – 15DEN
Match #1226 Jul 20:00GDR 22 – 21POL
Match #1328 Jul 17:00HUN 26 – 22CUB
Match #1428 Jul 18:30ESP 24 – 22POL
Match #1528 Jul 20:00GDR 24 – 20DEN

Group B (20 – 28 July 1980)

Round-robin pools.


Match #120 Jul 17:00YUG 22 – 18ALG
Match #220 Jul 18:30ROU 32 – 12KUW
Match #320 Jul 20:00URS 22 – 15SUI
Match #422 Jul 17:00ROU 26 – 18ALG
Match #522 Jul 18:30URS 38 – 11KUW
Match #622 Jul 20:00YUG 26 – 21SUI
Match #724 Jul 17:00SUI 32 – 14KUW
Match #824 Jul 18:30URS 33 – 10ALG
Match #924 Jul 20:00YUG 23 – 21ROU
Match #1026 Jul 17:00SUI 26 – 18ALG
Match #1126 Jul 18:30YUG 44 – 10KUW
Match #1226 Jul 20:00ROU 22 – 19URS
Match #1328 Jul 17:00ALG 30 – 17KUW
Match #1428 Jul 18:30ROU 18 – 16SUI
Match #1528 Jul 20:00URS 22 – 17YUG

Final Round (30 July 1980)

Medal round.

Match 1/230 Jul 18:30GDR 23 – 22URS
Match 3/430 Jul 14:45ROU 20 – 18HUN
Match 5/630 Jul 13:00ESP 24 – 23YUG
Match 7/830 Jul 14:00POL 23 – 22SUI
Match 9/1030 Jul 12:30DEN 28 – 20ALG
Match 11/1230 Jul 11:00CUB 32 – 24KUW


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