2023 IHF Men’s Handball World Championship sees 32 of the best teams from around the world fighting for the title of world champion in Poland and Sweden.
The tournament will start on January 11 with the Olympic champions France accepting co-hosts Poland in Katowice. The final will take place on January 29 in Stockholm.
Denmark are the holders Mikkel Hansen and jointly bid a hat-trick of titles, losing to France in the final at Tokyo 2020 in 2021.
Sweden they were defeated by the finalists two years ago in Egypt with Spain finishing third and France fourth.
The teams will get an extra incentive as the winners will secure an automatic spot at the 2024 Paris Olympics. That will go to the runners-up if France – already qualified as hosts – come out victorious.
Read on for the preview and the stars to watch at the 2023 World Men’s Handball Championship.
When is the 2023 Men’s Handball World Championship?
The 28th edition of the IHF Men’s Handball World Championship will run from January 11 to January 29, 2023.
Who qualified for the 2023 World Men’s Handball Championship?
Here are the 32 teams competing for the trophy:
Algeria (ALG), Argentina (ARG), Bahrain (BAH), Belgium (BEL), Brazil (BRA), Cape Verde (CPV), Chile (CHI), Croatia (CRO), Denmark (DEN), Egypt (EGY ), France (FRA), Germany (GER), Hungary (HUN), Iceland (ISL), Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), Montenegro (MNE), Morocco (MAR), Netherlands (NED), North Macedonia (MKD), Norway (NOR), Poland (POL), Portugal (POR), Qatar (QAT), Republic of Korea (KOR), Saudi Arabia (SAR), Serbia (SRB), Slovenia (SLO), Spain (ESP), Sweden (SWE ), Tunisia (TUN), United States (US), Uruguay (URU).
Medal moment | Tokyo 2020: Men’s Handball Team (FRA)
2023 men’s handball world championship group
Here’s how the teams were drawn:
Group A; Spain, Montenegro, Chile, IR Iran.
Group B: France, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia.
Group C: Sweden, Brazil, Cape Verde, Uruguay.
Group D: Iceland, Portugal, Hungary, Republic of Korea
Group E: Germany, Qatar, Serbia, Algeria.
Group F: Norway, North Macedonia, Argentina, Netherlands.
Group G: Egypt, Croatia, Morocco, United States.
Group H: Denmark, Belgium, Bahrain, Tunisia.
Announcement of the 2023 IHF Men’s Handball World Championship
Denmark is battling for a third consecutive world title but is aiming for revenge after losing to France in the 2020 Tokyo 2021 Olympic final.
The two European powerhouses will obviously be among the favourites, but neither of them made it to the finals European Championships in January where Sweden defeated Spain.
All 27 previous World Cups have been won by European nations with hosts from 2015 runny nose they were the only non-European team to reach the final.
Except for the big four Iceland they are a team to watch as they beat France – despite having eight players banned due to Covid – in the main round of the last European Championship before missing out on the semi-finals. Norway and Germany they are also very capable of going deep in big tournaments.
After advancing to the semi-finals of Tokyo 2020, the African champions Egypt will miss Telekom Veszpre Yahia Omar due to injury, but still have a chance for the podium.
Meanwhile, Tunisia showed that they cannot be underestimated by winning the recent Four Nations Cup in Krakow with Poland, Brazil and Republic of Korea.
Bahrain and Qatar bring the hopes of Asia, where the former will advance to the quarter-finals in Tokyo.
While the top three in each group in the Play-In Stage will advance to the Main Round, points against other Qualifiers carry on, so it’s important to win matches from the start.
On paper, Group E seems the toughest with Germany, Qatar and Serbia all will likely progress, but will likely lose points in the process.
The United States will compete in a World Cup for the first time in 22 years, having been forced to withdraw two years ago due to the Covid pandemic. They will be aiming for their first win after six tournaments without a win.
They were drawn in Group G next door Morocco where players can take inspiration from the country’s players who reached the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup last month. Their clash will almost certainly decide who finishes third behind Egypt and Croatia.
Handball stars to watch at the 2023 World Men’s Championship
Center back Jim Gottfridsson was the driving force behind Sweden’s triumph in Europe last year, winning the Most Valuable Player award for the second time having previously won it in 2018.
At the last World Cup in SG Flensburg-Handewitt the star was named in the all-star team when Sweden won the silver medal.
They will be looking to go one better, and the home support will help them in the play-in and the business end of the tournament.
The “Boys from Bengan”famous team of the 90s named after the coach Bengt Johanssonthey won world titles in 1990 and 1999, but Sweden have failed to win the trophy since then.
If they are to achieve it this time around, a lot will depend on Gottfridsson’s ability to create chances for his teammates and score goals himself.
Impressive physical presence at 1.92 m and weighing in at 93 kg, the 30-year-old can draw defenders to enable wings Hampus Bath and Niclas Ekberg – top scorer in London in 2012, where Sweden won silver – to work wonders.
While Mikkel Hansen continues to capture most of the headlines in the Danish squad, the 35-year-old veteran has some great players around him, including Maciej Gidzel.
Right-back Gidsel was named Tokyo 2020 MVP despite Denmark losing to France in the final. He was also named to the All-Star team at last year’s European Championships.
He was catapulted to stardom at the 2021 World Cup, playing a key role in the successful defense of his country’s title, but admitted he struggled to cope with the attention at such a young age.
Gidsel sought professional help and has not looked back since, even after his last-second error allowed France to open a decisive two-goal lead in the Olympic final.
I joined Fuchse Berlin with GOG earlier this season, the 23-year-old has maintained his great form despite being sidelined for several weeks with a throwing hand thumb injury. Gidsel is clearly pleased in Berlin that he signed a contract extension until 2028 last month.
with Hansen, Magnus Landin and the embarrassment of riches in the bouncer department courtesy of Brother Landin Niklas, Kevin Moller and Emil Nielsenexpect Gidsel and Dania to be there again.
France boasts an all-star team, but with a three-time Olympic gold medalist Nikola Karabatic nearing the end of his illustrious career, dika meme looks like the one who carries the flame.
The Barcelona right-back has stood out among the Spanish champions in recent years, guiding the team to two Champions League victories last June.
Boasting lightning speed and a powerful shot, Mem is without a doubt one of the most exciting players in handball.
they Nedim Remili offer France two powerful options at right-back, with a club teammate Ludwik Fabregas and Karabatic gap both impressive presences in line.
France won the last of their six league titles on home soil in 2017, and they will be imagining their chances of winning seven and adding an Olympic title from Tokyo 2020.
Small in stature, but certainly not in ability or heart, Luc Steins became one of the stars of European handball.
The Dutchman was signed by Paris Saint-Germain to try to fill the gap left after Nikola Karabatic tore his anterior cruciate ligament in October 2020.
He may have been over 20cm shorter – and much less experienced – than the handball legend, but Steins quickly got his new teammates working in harmony.
Such was his playmaking ability that when Karabatic returned to full fitness, he often changed left-back to accommodate the younger man.
After losing in the play-offs to Portugal, the Netherlands were given a wild card to their first World Cup appearance since 1961.
Steins and prolific SC Magdeburg back Kay Smith they will hope to advance to the main round for the first time, as they did at last year’s European Championship.
There will be many excellent goalkeepers in Poland and Sweden, and Egypt is among them Karim Hendawy.
In a team full of talent that includes Yahia Omar, Dinamo Bucuresti left-back Ali Zein and the right wing of Nimes Mo SanadHendawy shone at Tokyo 2020.
His 31.67 percent saving percentage was equal to that of Niklas Landin from Denmark Johannes Gorzki The German – who has since retired from international handball – is 33.33 per cent ahead of him (facing 96 shots versus Hendawa’s 180).
He still lives in Egypt in Zamalek SCThe 34-year-old also saved more than 30 percent of the shots he faced at home at the last World Cup.
The Pharaohs have established themselves as true contenders for medals in the last three majors and hope to improve on their best fourth place finish at the 2001 World Championships.