Source Pravda.Ru

World Handball Championship - 30 January, 2003

The Russian blitz that sent Denmark staggering yesterday continued today against Egypt, a good team but one that could not find any solutions for this Russian team which has started to explode with some fantasy handball. However, the classification system in this world championship means that Russia, at its zenith, bows out of the top flight.

The results at the conclusion of the second stage are as follows:

Group 1 Spain-Iceland (32-31); Poland-Qatar (35-26) Spain goes through to dispute the top 4, Iceland disputes places 5-8

Group 2 Germany-Yugoslavia (31-31); Portugal-Tunisia (27-26) Germany goes through to the top 4 on goal difference while Yugoslavia disputes the countries classified 5-8

Group 3 Croatia-Denmark (33-27); Russia-Egypt (29-22) Croatia go through to top 4, Russia in play-offs for Olympic games

Group 4 Sweden-France (24-30); Slovenia-Hungary (25-28) France through to top 4, Hungary to the play-offs for the Olympics

A strange selection process in these championships saw the results of the first round carried through to the second, which was crucial. teams like Russia, which began to play some excellent handball later on, were hampered by the results early in the competition.

Spain, Germany, Croatia and France (World Champions) dispute the top 4, deprived of Iceland, Denmark, Sweden (European Champions) and Russia (Olympic Champions).

Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru