| Event type

Handball, Men

Date24 July – 4 August 1996
LocationGeorgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia / Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Georgia
Participants182 from 12 countries
FormatRound-robin pools advance teams to classification matches.

The Olympic field was largely determined at the 1995 World Championships in Iceland, with winners France qualifying ahead of Croatia, Sweden, Germany, Russia, Egypt and Switzerland. The host nation was also admitted, along with continental qualifiers Algeria, Brazil, Kuwait and Spain.

Sweden were easily the best team in Pool A. Their strongest opposition came from the Russians, which tied 20-20 shortly before time only to lose out 22-20. But the real drama was in the Croatia - Russia match, which was to decide the second qualifier from the group. With 37 seconds left to play, the score tied at 24-24, Dmitry Torgovanov was penalized, and the successive Croatian attack was crowned with a goal by Božidar Jović. The Croatians went through to the semis, despite losing by a large margin to Sweden in their fifth group match (27-18).

In the other pool, World Champions France played as expected, winning their first four matches before succumbing to Germany in the last match (24-23), yet securing qualification for the semi-finals. The remaining ticket was to be decided between Spain, silver medallists at the European Championships a few months before the Games, and Egypt, which had the best ever African performance at the World Championships, with a sixth place. Each team had three wins and a loss (against France) before they faced each other in the final pool game. The Spaniards were in the lead throughout the game, but Egypt was never far, losing out only 20-19.

The Spaniards, featuring 1992 champion Talant Duyshebayev (then with the Unified Team), didn’t hold out in the semi-finals, and they were outclassed by Sweden 25-20. The other semi-final was a replay of the 1995 World Championships final. The Croatians were eager for revenge, and took an early lead. By half-time, that had been increased to four points, which was never relinquished and held until the end (24-20).

In the final, the Swedes started out poorly. Croatia capitalized on that, building up an early lead that had stretched to five goals at the half-time mark (16-11). In an all-out effort to prevent a repeat of their loss in the 1992 Olympic final, Sweden initiated a comeback. Wingers Pierre Thorsson (8 goals) and Erik Hajas (7) brought their team closer and closer, but not close enough to hold the Croatians from winning by one goal (27-26). For Croatia, it was the first ever Olympic title won by that country. Five of its players had already earned a bronze while still playing for Yugoslavia back in 1988: Alvaro Načinović, Goran Perkovac, Iztok Puc, Zlatan Saračević and Irfan Smajlagić.

One of the players on the Spanish team that earned the bronze medal turned out to have an excellent Olympics for other reasons as well. Iñaki Urdangarín met Princess Cristina de Borbón, herself a sailing competitor at the 1988 Olympics; they married in 1997. In late 2011, Urdangarín discredited the royal family by being named in a corruption and money laundering case, which is still under investigation as of 2012.

Wing2Vladimir Jelčić
Wing3Goran Perkovac
Wing4Irfan Smajlagić
Pivot5Božidar Jović
Pivot6Alvaro Načinović
Wing7Vladimir Šujster
Wing8Bruno Gudelj
Pivot9Nenad Kljaić
Back10Iztok Puc
Back11Zoran Mikulić
Goalkeeper12Venio Losert
Back13Patrik Ćavar
Pivot14Valner Franković
Back15Slavko Goluža
Goalkeeper16Valter Matošević
Back17Zlatan Saračević
CoachVelimir Kljaić
Goalkeeper1Mats Olsson
Back2Robert Hedin
Back3Magnus Wislander
Pivot4Tomas Sivertsson
Back5Ola Lindgren
Pivot6Per Carlén
Wing7Erik Hajas
Wing8Johan Pettersson
Back9Stefan Lövgren
Back10Robert Andersson
Wing11Pierre Thorsson
Back13Staffan Olsson
Back14Magnus Andersson
Back15Andreas Larsson
Goalkeeper16Tomas Svensson
Wing17Martin Frändesjö
CoachBengt Johansson
Goalkeeper1Jaume Fort
Back2Demetrio Lozano
Wing3José Salvador Esquer
Wing4Rafael Guijosa
Wing5Fernando Hernández
Wing6Raúl González
Back7Iñaki Urdangarín
Back8Josu Olalla
Back9Mateo Garralda
José Javier Hombrados
Back10Talant Duyshebayev
Back11Jesús Fernández
Goalkeeper12Jordi Núñez
Wing13Alberto Urdiales
Pivot14Juancho Pérez
Pivot18Aitor Etxaburu
CoachJuan Rouan
Goalkeeper1Christian Gaudin
Back3Pascal Mahé
Back4Philippe Schaaf
Pivot5Frédéric Volle
Back6Denis Lathoud
Pivot7Guéric Kervadec
Wing8Stéphane Cordinier
Back9Gaël Monthurel
Wing10Grégory Anquetil
Wing11Éric Amalou
Goalkeeper12Bruno Martini
Wing14Stéphane Joulin
Wing15Raoul Prandi
Goalkeeper16Yohan Delattre
Back17Jackson Richardson
Back18Stéphane Stoecklin
CoachDaniel Costantini
5Russian FederationRUS
Goalkeeper1Andrey Lavrov
Pivot2Igor Lavrov
Pivot3Aleksey Frantsuzov
Back5Oleg Kuleshov
Back7Lev Voronin
Back8Valery Gopin
Back9Vasily Kudinov
Pivot11Dmitry Torgovanov
Goalkeeper12Pavel Sukosyan
Pivot14Oleg Grebnev
Back17Oleg Kiselyov
Back18Vyacheslav Gorpishin
Back19Sergey Pogorelov
Back20Dmitry Filippov
Tettey Banfro DNS
CoachVladimir Maksimov
Goalkeeper1Ahmed El-Awady
Back2Ahmed El-Attar
Back3Ahmed Ali
Back4Hosam Abdallah
Wing5Mahmoud Soliman
Pivot8Gohar Nabil
Back9Yasser Mahmoud
Wing10Khaled Mahmoud
Wing11Ayman El-Alfy
Goalkeeper12Hamada Bakir El-Nakib
Pivot13Amro El-Geioushy
Back15Ashraf Mabrouk Awaad
Goalkeeper16Ayman Abdel Hamid Soliman
Back17Ahmed Belal
Back18Saber Hussein
Wing19Sameh Abdel Waress
CoachJavier García
Back4Markus Baur
Wing5Stefan Kretzschmar
Back6Jan Fegter
Pivot8Christian Schwarzer
Pivot9Klaus-Dieter Petersen
Back10Thomas Knorr
Back11Volker Zerbe
Goalkeeper12Andreas Thiel
Wing13Christian Scheffler
Back14Martin Schwalb
Back15Karsten Kohlhaas
Goalkeeper16Jan Holpert
Wing/Goalkeeper17Martin Schmidt
Back18Daniel Stephan
Wing20Holger Löhr
Henning Fritz DNS
CoachArno Ehret
Goalkeeper1Rolf Dobler
Wing3Daniel Spengler
Back5Nick Christen
Back6Urs Schärer
Back7Roman Brunner
Pivot8Matthias Zumstein
Wing9Stefan Schärer
Back13Marc Baumgartner
Back14Robbie Kostadinovich
Pivot15René Barth
Alex Vasilakis
Goalkeeper16Christian Meisterhans
Wing17Carlos Lima
Michael Brandenberger DNS
Urs Heimann DNS
Michael Suter DNS
CoachArmin Emrich
9United StatesUSA
Goalkeeper1Cliff Mannon
Pivot2Denny Fercho
Wing3Tom Fitzgerald
Back4Joe Fitzgerald
Back5Steve Penn
Wing6Derek Brown
Pivot8Matt Ryan
Wing9Bobby Dunn
Back10John Keller
Back11Darrick Heath
Goalkeeper12Yaro Dachniwsky
Back13Greg Caccia
Goalkeeper16Mark Schmocker
Pivot17David DeGraaf
Pivot19Mike Thornberry
Back20Chip Van Os
CoachRick Oleksyk
Goalkeeper1Amar Daoud
Wing2Abdel Ghani Loukil
Back3Redouane Aouachria
Back4Salim Nedjel-Hammou
Back5Nabil Rouabhi
Wing6Redouane Saïdi
Pivot7Ben Ali Beghouach
Back8Sofiane Lamali
Pivot9Abdel Djalil Bouanani
Back10Mahmoud Bouanik
Back11Rabah Gherbi
Back13Achour Hasni
Wing14Sofiane Khalfallah
Back15Mohamed Bouziane
Back17Salim Abes
Goalkeeper18Karim El-Mahouab
CoachMohamed Machou
Goalkeeper1 Cachorrão
Back2 Testão
Back3 Petrolina
Back4 Marquinhos
Wing5 SB
Back6Fausto Steinwandter
Back8Paulo Moratore
Pivot9 Miltinho
Wing10Daniel Pinheiro
Back11 Agberto
Goalkeeper12 Xexa
Wing13 China
Wing14 Macarrão
Back15Rodrigo Hoffelder
Goalkeeper16 Jabá
Pivot17 Menta
CoachAlberto Rigolo
Goalkeeper1Abdul Ridha Al-Boloushi
Back4Abbas Al-Harbi
Pivot5Khaldoun Al-Khashti
Back6Salem Al-Marzouq
Wing8Bandar Al-Shammari
Wing9Adel Al-Kahham
Back10Mishal Al-Ali
Pivot11Ismael Shah Al-Zadah
Back13Salah Al-Marzouq
Wing14Khaled Al-Mulla
Back15Qaied Al-Adwani
Goalkeeper16Naser Al-Otaibi
Khaled Al-Marzouq DNS
Tareq Al-Mullah DNS
Salah Al-Mullah DNS
Ibrahim Al-Otaibi DNS
CoachIlija Puljević

Preliminary Round

Date24 – 31 July 1996

Group A

Date24 – 31 July 1996
FormatRound-robin pools.
3Russian FederationRUS3026137-106
5United StatesUSA1042111-142
Match #124 Jul 10:00Hall GRussian FederationRUS32 – 20KuwaitKUW
Match #224 Jul 14:30Hall GCroatiaCRO23 – 22SwitzerlandSUI
Match #324 Jul 19:00Hall GSwedenSWE23 – 19United StatesUSA
Match #425 Jul 10:00Hall GCroatiaCRO31 – 22KuwaitKUW
Match #525 Jul 14:30Hall GSwedenSWE26 – 19SwitzerlandSUI
Match #625 Jul 20:45Hall GRussian FederationRUS31 – 16United StatesUSA
Match #727 Jul 11:45Hall GSwitzerlandSUI33 – 16KuwaitKUW
Match #827 Jul 14:30Hall GSwedenSWE22 – 20Russian FederationRUS
Match #927 Jul 19:00Hall GCroatiaCRO35 – 27United StatesUSA
Match #1029 Jul 11:45Hall GSwedenSWE33 – 18KuwaitKUW
Match #1129 Jul 16:15Hall GCroatiaCRO25 – 24Russian FederationRUS
Match #1229 Jul 20:45Hall GSwitzerlandSUI29 – 20United StatesUSA
Match #1331 Jul 11:45Hall GRussian FederationRUS30 – 23SwitzerlandSUI
Match #1431 Jul 14:30Hall GSwedenSWE27 – 18CroatiaCRO
Match #1531 Jul 20:45Hall GUnited StatesUSA29 – 24KuwaitKUW

Group B

Date24 – 31 July 1996
FormatRound-robin pools.
Match #124 Jul 11:45Hall GFranceFRA27 – 25SpainESP
Match #224 Jul 16:15Hall GEgyptEGY19 – 16AlgeriaALG
Match #324 Jul 20:45Hall GGermanyGER30 – 20BrazilBRA
Match #425 Jul 11:45Hall GFranceFRA33 – 22AlgeriaALG
Match #525 Jul 16:15Hall GSpainESP22 – 20GermanyGER
Match #625 Jul 19:00Hall GEgyptEGY31 – 20BrazilBRA
Match #727 Jul 10:00Hall GSpainESP20 – 14AlgeriaALG
Match #827 Jul 16:15Hall GEgyptEGY24 – 22GermanyGER
Match #927 Jul 20:45Hall GFranceFRA37 – 23BrazilBRA
Match #1029 Jul 10:00Hall GFranceFRA25 – 20EgyptEGY
Match #1129 Jul 14:30Hall GGermanyGER25 – 23AlgeriaALG
Match #1229 Jul 19:00Hall GSpainESP27 – 17BrazilBRA
Match #1331 Jul 10:00Hall GSpainESP20 – 19EgyptEGY
Match #1431 Jul 16:15Hall GGermanyGER24 – 23FranceFRA
Match #1531 Jul 19:00Hall GAlgeriaALG20 – 20BrazilBRAtie


Date2 August 1996
Match #102 Aug 16:15Hall GSwedenSWE25 – 20SpainESP
Match #202 Aug 20:45Hall GCroatiaCRO24 – 20FranceFRA

Final Round

Date2 – 4 August 1996
FormatMedal round.
Match 1/204 Aug 13:00CroatiaCRO27 – 26SwedenSWE
Match 3/404 Aug 11:00SpainESP27 – 25FranceFRA
Match 5/602 Aug 19:00Hall GRussian FederationRUS29 – 26EgyptEGY
Match 7/802 Aug 14:30Hall GGermanyGER23 – 16SwitzerlandSUI
Match 9/1002 Aug 11:45Hall GUnited StatesUSA27 – 26AlgeriaALGAfter Extra Time
Match 11/1202 Aug 10:00Hall GBrazilBRA31 – 25KuwaitKUW