January 28, 2020 – The European Handball Championship may be over, but because it is an Olympic year, we won’t have to wait long to see the Croatia handball team in action again.
Namely, two tournaments of paramount importance have already been secured for the Croatia handball team over the next 365 days, and if all goes well, there will be a third.
Gol.hr reports that the Cowboys will now return to their clubs after a few days of rest, then reunite in April ahead of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, which will take place from April 17 to 19 in Paris. The qualifiers will be attended by 12 teams divided into three groups of four, and the first two teams from each group will be issued a visa for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Croatia will play in perhaps the toughest group, along with France, Portugal, and Tunisia.
Despite its failure at the Euros, France is still a handball force, Portugal was one of the most pleasant surprises at the recent European Championship, while Tunisia is the African finalist.
If all goes to plan, and Croatia finishes either first or second in their group, then in the middle of the summer, we will follow the Cowboys on their way to a new Olympic medal.
The Tokyo Olympics take place from July 24 to August 9, and the handball tournament will be in the same format: a total of 12 teams will be split into two groups of six each, with the first four from each group winning a spot in the quarterfinal.
Handball at the Tokyo Olympics begins on July 25, and all matches will be played every two days. The quarterfinals are in the program from Tuesday, August 4, the semifinal games on Thursday, August 6, and the bronze-medal match and final on Saturday, August 8.
When the Olympic Games come to an end, the players will return to their clubs to begin a new season – though it won’t be long before another major challenge. The World Handball Championship will be held in Egypt from January 14 to January 31, 2021.
Since Croatia won second place in the 2020 European Championship, they will not have play qualifications for the World Championship next year.
Otherwise, the 2021 World Championship in Egypt will be the first in an expanded edition and will feature as many as 32 national teams. With the expansion, the International Handball Federation (IHF) wants to popularize handball in a number of countries, and as part of this initiative, teams such as Cape Verde, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uruguay will participate.
It will be a busy year for the Croatia handball team; be sure to follow TCN for the latest.
To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.