Olympic handball champs Denmark struggle past Bahrain

Olympic champions Denmark struggled past Bahrain 30-26 on Wednesday to maintain their undefeated record at the world handball championships and assure top spot in Group D.

Olympic handball champs Denmark struggle past Bahrain
A red card sent Denmark's Mikkel Hansen packing after 40 minutes. Photo: Thomas Samson/AFP/Scanpix
The win followed a narrow 27-25 victory over Sweden in their opener and the Danes were struggling again to impose themselves against modest Bahrain, leading by just 24-23 with a quarter of an hour to go.
Adding to their problems, the Danes lost star player Mikkel Hansen (two goals off three shots) with a red card after 40 minutes while injured Lasse Anderson was also sidelined.
“It was a tough game against an awkward opponent. They have a lot of qualities and it was really hard for us,” admitted Denmark right winger Hans Lindberg. “They played with 'an offensive defence', it's hard to find the right solution. In attack, they have a lot of qualities in their shots.”
Also in Group D, African champions Egypt defeated Argentina 31-26 to make sure of a place in the last 16.
In Group C, European champions Germany clinched a fourth win from four matches with a 31-25 win over Belarus and will next face Croatia in what will likely be a battle for top spot in the table.
Uwe Gensheimer scored eight goals and has 29 for the tournament.
“In the first half we were not good enough and always were one step behind,” said Germany coach Dagur Sigurdsson.
“We lacked aggressiveness in defence, therefore it was a difficult game. After our good start in the second half, when we were ahead by three, four goals, Belarus needed to take a risk. This became our advantage.”

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Norway backs out of co-hosting Euro handball champs with Denmark over Covid

Norway has pulled out of co-hosting the women's European handball championship just two weeks before the start in December due to restrictions linked to the coronavirus pandemic, its federation said on Monday.

Norway backs out of co-hosting Euro handball champs with Denmark over Covid
Denmark playing against Norway at last year's handball world cup in Japan. Photo: Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

“Based on in-depth assessments by Norwegian health authorities as well as clear demands from Norwegian political authorities, it is now clear that Norway cannot be an organiser of the women's European handball championship,” the federation said.

Denmark is now considering whether to host the event on its own.

Strict restrictions are however currently in place in the North Jutland region, where some of the matches were due to be played, after a mutated version of the virus was found in the country's mink population, infecting 12 people.

The European Handball Federation “very much regrets the decision of the Norwegian government”, it said in a statement, referring to the Norwegian health authorities' refusal to grant exemptions to the strict measures it has imposed.

Under current rules, if a player or team official tests positive for the virus the entire team must quarantine, as well as the teams that it has opposed just prior.

The rules are less strict in Denmark.

“Alternatives are being sought with the Danish Handball Association and additional information will be released on Tuesday at the latest,” the European Handball Federation said.

Norway had been due to host around 60 percent of matches, including the final, in Trondheim.

While Norway has been one of the countries in Europe least affected by the pandemic, it has seen a recent uptick in cases which has led authorities to introduce a series of measures, notably on cultural and sporting events.

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