Olympic Sports >> Handball

Handball

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THE 2 EVENTS

  • 1 men's tournament
  • 1 women's tournament

THE FORMAT

Each tournament features 12 teams, split into 2 groups in the opening round. The top 4 in each group advance to the knock-out stage: quarter-finals, semi-finals and final. Classification matches and a bronze medal game determine the final tournament rankings.

MILESTONES

130-200 AD

According to the drawings of a Roman doctor, Greeks and Romans play a game similar to handball.

1904

Danish fencer and shooter Holger Nielsen develops an early set of rules for "handbold".

1919

German sports teacher Karl Schelenz draws up the first set of rules for modern handball, played 11-a-side on a large pitch.

1936

11-a-side handball makes its Olympic debut, and Germany win on home soil.

1938

The first world championships are held for 7-a-side and 11-a-side teams. Germany win both titles.

1957

A first European club competition, the European Champions Cup, is created.

1960s

7-a-side becomes the predominant form of the game, as 11-a-side is gradually phased out.

1972

The Olympics return to Germany, in Munich, and 7-a-side handball is included in the programme.

1976

Women's handball is introduced at the Montreal Games.

2004

The Danish women's team win an unprecedented third Olympic title.

STARS

Andrey Lavrov (USSR/CIS/Russia)

Widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers of all time. He won 3 Olympic gold medals, with the USSR (1988), the CIS (1992) and Russia (2000). He also won 2 world championships in 1993 and 1997, and the European championships in 1996.

Jackson Richardson (France)

With his flowing dreadlocks, the Reunion Islander came to symbolise French flair in the 1990s. World champion in 1995 and 2001, 2nd in 1993 and 3rd in 1997, 2003 and 2005, he also won Olympic bronze in 1992. Voted world player of the year in 1995, the centre half also won all of the European trophies.

Magnus Wislander (Sweden)

A centre half who became a pivot, Wislander won two world titles (1990, 1999) and four European crowns (1994, 1998, 2000, 2002). Olympic gold eluded him, though, as Sweden took the silver medal on 3 occasions (1992, 1996, 2000). He scored over 1,000 goals during a magnificent career, and was later voted the best player of the 20th century.


Copyright 2012 Agence France-Presse.



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