The Preliminary round of the IHF 2023 World’s Men’s Championship in Poland and Sweden has come to an end which means we are now turning towards the Main round which will eventually give us eight quarter-finalists. The first matches of the Main round are scheduled for Wednesday, 18 January, while the last matches of the Main round will be played on Monday, 23 January.
In Group A, Spain, Montenegro, and Iran advance to the Main round and will play against France, Slovenia and Poland from Group B. Spain and France are entering the Main round with 3/3 victories. Iran vs Slovenia and Portugal vs Brazil will play the first encounters in the next phase of the competition. As expected, Chile and Saudi Arabia will play at the President’s Cup together with Uruguay and South Korea.
Sweden, Brazil, and Cape Verde took the first three positions in Group C and together with Portugal, Iceland and Hungary from Group D will be in the Group III of the Main round. Sweden has the biggest chances to enter the quarter-final with 4 points and all three victories in the Preliminary phase, while Portugal, Iceland, Hungary all have 2 points and the situation will be definetly interesting. In the Preliminary round, Hungary had two victories (South Korea and Iceland) and one defeat against Portugal.
There were no major surprises in Group E which means that Germany, Serbia, and Qatar continued their World Championship journey. In the Group F, Norway secured all three victories. Second and third place took Netherlands and Argentina. Germany and Norway took all three victories in the Preliminary phase. When it comes to the SEHA countries from this group, Serbia is entering the Main round with 2 points (victories against Algeria and Qatar and defeat against Germany). On the other hand, North Macedonia will continue the competition in the President's cup (defeats against Norway, Netherlands and Argentina).
Egypt, Croatia, USA from Group G and Denmark, Bahrein and Belgium from Group H will form Group 4 in the Main round. Egypt and Denmark made all 3/3 victories in the Preliminary phase and they have all 4 points, while Croatia and Bahrain will enter the Main round with 2 points. In the competition's first match, Croatia was defeated by Egypt, but they won against USA and Morroco in the next matches. Morocco and Algeria will play the President's Cup.
So far, Telekom Veszprem’s Bjarki Mar Elisson is the top scorer of the tournament with 18 goals.
Group 1: Spain, France, Slovenia, Montenegro, Poland, Iran
Group 2: Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Hungary, Brazil, Cape Verde
Group 3: Norway, Germany, Serbia, Netherlands, Qatar, Argentina
Group 4: Denmark, Egypt, Croatia, Bahrain, Belgium, USA
Group I: Chile, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Uruguay
Group II: Algeria, Morocco, North Macedonia, Tunisia
Photo credit: Anze Malovrh / kolektiff