Handball shocker: Olympic champs Denmark knocked out by Hungary

Hungary stunned 2016 Olympic champions Denmark 27-25 in the last 16 of the Handball World Championships on Sunday in France.

Handball shocker: Olympic champs Denmark knocked out by Hungary
Hungary's players celebrate behind a despondent Henrik Møllgaard. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Scanpix
It was the first time since 2005 that Denmark — three-time finalists but never world champions — have been dumped out of the competition before the quarter-finals.
Denmark’s star player Mikkel Hansen, who scored eight goals in the match, said the Danes were simply “not good enough”. 
“We played too slow at the outset and they scored some counter goals. Then we got into the game but started the second half like crap. We still managed a lot of good chances but wasted a lot of them,” he told the press after the surprise loss. 
“It was a long and hard game but it is obviously inexcusable that we can’t beat a team like Hungary,” Hansen added. 
Hungary will now face Norway on Tuesday for a place in the semi-finals.

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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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