European Men's Handball Championship

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European Men's Handball Championship
Founded 1994
Region Europe (EHF)
Number of teams 38 (Qualification)
16 (Final Tournament)
Current champions  Germany (2nd title)
Most successful team(s)  Sweden (4 titles)
2016 European Men's Handball Championship

The European Men's Handball Championship is the official competition for senior men's national handball teams of Europe, and takes place every two years. In addition to crowning the European champions, the tournament also serves as a qualifying tournament for the Olympic Games and World Championship. Sweden have won four of the ten championships that have been held since 1994, while Spain have been runners-up four times. Denmark is the team with most medals won in European Championship history with a total of six medals, those being two gold medals (2008, 2012), one silver (2014) and three bronze medals (2002, 2004 & 2006).

Tournaments[edit]

Year Host Final 3rd place match Teams
Champions Score Runners-up 3rd place Score 4th place
1994
Details
Portugal
Portugal

Sweden
34–21
Russia

Croatia
24–23
Denmark
12
1996
Details
Spain
Spain

Russia
23–22
Spain

Yugoslavia
26–25
Sweden
12
1998
Details
Italy
Italy

Sweden
25–23
Spain

Germany
30–28 (ET)
Russia
12
2000
Details
Croatia
Croatia

Sweden
32–31
Russia

Spain
24–23
France
12
2002
Details
Sweden
Sweden

Sweden
33–31
Germany

Denmark
29–22
Iceland
16
2004
Details
Slovenia
Slovenia

Germany
30–25
Slovenia

Denmark
31–27
Croatia
16
2006
Details
Switzerland
Switzerland

France
31–23
Spain

Denmark
32–27
Croatia
16
2008
Details
Norway
Norway

Denmark
24–20
Croatia

France
36–26
Germany
16
2010
Details
Austria
Austria

France
25–21
Croatia

Iceland
29–26
Poland
16
2012
Details
Serbia
Serbia

Denmark
21–19
Serbia

Croatia
31–27
Spain
16
2014
Details
Denmark
Denmark

France
41–32
Denmark

Spain
29–28
Croatia
16
2016
Details
Poland
Poland

Germany
24–17
Spain

Croatia
31–24
Norway
16
2018
Details
Croatia
Croatia
16
2020
Details
Austria Norway Sweden
Austria / Norway / Sweden
16

Medal count[edit]

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Sweden 4 0 0 4
2  France 3 0 1 4
3  Denmark 2 1 3 6
4  Germany 2 1 1 4
5  Russia 1 2 0 3
6  Spain 0 4 2 6
7  Croatia 0 2 3 5
8  Serbia 0 1 1 2
9  Slovenia 0 1 0 1
10  Iceland 0 0 1 1
Total 12 12 12 36

History[edit]

In 1946, the International Handball Federation was founded by eight European nations,[1] and though non-European nations competed at the World Championships, the medals had always been taken by European nations.[2] European Handball Federation is founded in 1991. At the same time (1995), the World Championship was changed from a quadrennial to a biannual event, and the European Handball Federation now began its own championship – which also acted as a regional qualifier for the World Championship.[3]

1990s[edit]

The first championship was held in Portugal in June 1994.[4] The host nation had not managed to qualify for any World Championship thus far, and they finished 12th and last after losing all six games, including 21–38 to Romania in the 11th-place play-off. Sweden became the first European champion after defeating Russia by 34–21 in the final, Russia's heaviest loss in their international history.[5] Both teams had gone through the tournament without loss, but Sweden's fast breaks became the key in the final; they scored 14 of their 34 goals on fast breaks. Swedish middle back Magnus Andersson was named the event's best player and Russian left back Vasily Kudinov was top scorer with 50 goals.[6]

Two years later, the championship moved to Spain, with the same format. This time, no team went through the group stage without giving up points, but Russia and Sweden were to face off once again; this time in the semi-final, and Russia got revenge with a 24–21 win in front of 650 spectators.[7] In the other semi-final, the hosts beat Yugoslavia 27–23, before 7,500 spectators littered the arena in Sevilla to watch the hosts go down by one goal despite the efforts of Talant Dujshebaev, a Kyrgyz-born[8] back player who had played for Russia in 1994 but who now turned out for Spain.[5] Federal Republic of Yugoslavia participated for the first time and finished third.

In 1998 the Championship was held in Italy, whose appearance at the 1997 World Championship was their first (and to date, only) at the top level of international handball.[2] Spain went through the first six matches of the tournament unbeaten, while their opponents Sweden had won the first four games before becoming the first team to lose to hosts Italy. However, in the final, Sweden were too strong and won by 25–23 after having led by 15–9 at half-time in front of 6,100 spectators in Bolzano.

2000s[edit]

Two years later, the Championship was held in the Croatian cities of Zagreb and Rijeka. By now, the Championship had been moved back to January[9] in the middle of the European handball season. The Championship acted as an Olympic qualifier, and hosts Croatia, who had won the 1996 Olympics, needed to finish in the top five to qualify. They lost to Spain and drew with France in the group stage, which sent them into a fifth-place play-off with neighbours Slovenia. 10,000 spectators watched as Slovenia prevailed by one goal and qualified for the Sydney Games. The two teams who had won European Championships before, Sweden and Russia, qualified for the final – Sweden had won the group stage match 28–25,[9] but Russia took a six-goal lead at half-time. Sweden came back to tie the game at full-time, and two 10-minute extra periods were required before Sweden won 32–31[5] after Magnus Wislander scored the deciding goal.[10]

Three-time champions Sweden were the next to host the European Championship, in 2002. This was the first tournament with 16 teams, an expansion from 12 in the previous four instalments. The Swedes won their first seven matches, and had already qualified for the semi-finals when they lost 26–27 to Denmark, having led 17–11 at half time. In the other main round group, Iceland became the third Nordic team to qualify after defeating Germany in the final match, but both Denmark and Iceland were soundly beaten in the semi-finals – Denmark lost 23–28 to Germany, while Sweden defeated Iceland by 11 goals. Sweden thus qualified for their fourth final in five attempts, and in front of 14,300 spectators in Stockholm Globe, they came back from a one-goal deficit when Staffan Olsson equalised with five seconds to spare. Sweden had substituted their goalkeeper, and Florian Kehrmann replied with a goal in an empty net, but it was disallowed because the referees had not started play after the Swedish goal.[11] In the extra time, Sweden held on, and could celebrate their fourth title.[12]

Sweden's row of three successive Championships was broken in Slovenia in 2004, when Germany won despite not being touted as a medal candidate by news agency Deutsche Presse Agentur.[13] Germany suffered an early defeat to Serbia and Montenegro, and qualified for the main round as the third and final team from their group, having drawn with France as well. However, as the favourites beat each other in Germany's main round group, Germany qualified for the semi-finals in first place from the six-team group. In the other group, Croatia, who won the other group, had not lost any of their first seven games, while Denmark also had four successive wins.

Croatia faced hosts Slovenia in the semi-final, and the clash of the two Balkan neighbours saw heightened security measures.[14] 7,000 spectators in the Hall Tivoli saw that the hosts became the first team to beat Croatia in this tournament despite 12 goals from Croatian right winger Mirza Džomba who was reputed to be the best handball player in the world at the time.[15] Denmark, who had reached their second successive semi-final, once again had to bow out at this stage, as they lost 20–22 to Germany in what was described as a "hard-fought victory."[14] Germany won the final more convincingly; a 16–10 lead at half time was never squandered, as Slovenia only got within three goals in the second half, and eventually lost 25–30.[16]

The 2006 tournament was held in Switzerland, in the cities of Basel, Bern, Lucerne, St Gallen and Zürich. France won the tournament, going through with one solitary loss – a 26–29 defeat to Spain in the preliminary round (where France trailed by eight goals at half-time). Defending champions Germany was also in this preliminary group, and this time taking one point through from the group stage would not be enough for Germany. Despite winning all three main round games, so did France and Spain, and those two teams qualified for the semi-finals from Group I. From the other group, Croatia qualified in first place after a 34–30 victory over Serbia and Montenegro in the last match. Later that evening, Denmark beat Russia and qualified for their third successive semi-final, one point behind Croatia. However, the Group II teams were both defeated by Group I teams, causing France and Spain to meet again in the final. In the third-place play-off, Croatia surprisingly lost to Denmark, while the final saw France prevail by eight goals to win their first European Championship

Norway was the host country for the 2008 tournament. Matches were played in Bergen, Drammen, Lillehammer, Stavanger and Trondheim. Croatia, Norway, Hungary and France won their preliminary groups, but two of the teams failed to utilise their advantage; Norway drew with Poland and lost to Slovenia, and needed to beat Croatia in the final match of the group stage. Instead, Ivano Balić scored the 23–22 goal with twenty seconds to spare, and only a late equaliser gave Norway third place in the group.[17] Hungary, Spain and Germany had all gone through with two points from Group C, and Germany sealed their qualification with a two-goal win over Sweden in a match where a draw would have been enough for the Swedes.[18] In the first semifinal Croatia played France in a game dominated by strong defense by both teams, with the Croats achieving a three-goal lead twice, only to see France come back strong. Croatia goalkeeper Mirko Alilović saved a shot from Nikola Karabatic with six seconds to go as Croatia won 24–23. Denmark came back from 7–12 down to beat Germany, despite the Germans equalising within the final minute, as Lars Christiansen slotted home a penalty shot with three seconds remaining. Croatia started off well in the final, scoring the first four goals, but with eight saves more from Denmark's keeper, Kasper Hvidt, Denmark won 24–20 and took their first major trophy.

2010–present[edit]

Statistics[edit]

Total hosts[edit]

Hosts Nations (Year(s)
2  Austria (2010, 2020)
 Croatia (2000, 2018)
 Norway (2008, 2020)
 Sweden (2002, 2020)
1  Denmark (2014)
 Italy (1998)
 Poland (2016)
 Portugal (1994)
 Serbia (2012)
 Slovenia (2004)
 Spain (1996)
  Switzerland (2006)

Top scorers by tournament[edit]

The record-holder for scored goals in a single Euro Championship is Kiril Lazarov.[citation needed] He scored 61 goals for Macedonia at the 2012 European Men's Handball Championship that took place in Serbia.

Year Player Goals
1994 Russia Vasily Kudinov 50
1996 Germany Thomas Knorr 41
1998 Czech Republic Jan Filip 48
2000 Ukraine Oleg Velyky 46
2002 Sweden Stefan Lövgren
Iceland Ólafur Stefánsson
57
2004 Croatia Mirza Džomba 46
2006 Slovenia Siarhei Rutenka 51
2008 Croatia Ivano Balić
France Nikola Karabatić
Denmark Lars Christiansen
44
2010 Czech Republic Filip Jícha 53
2012 Republic of Macedonia Kiril Lazarov 61
2014 Spain Joan Cañellas 50
2016 Spain Valero Rivera Folch 48

Participation details[edit]

Legend
  • 1st – Champions
  • 2nd – Runners-up
  • 3rd – Third place
  • 4th – Fourth place
  • 5th – Fifth place
  • 6th – Sixth place
  • 7th – Seventh place
  • 8th – Eighth place
  • 9th – Ninth place
  • 10th – Tenth place
  • 11th – Eleventh place
  • 12th – Twelfth place
  • MR – Main round
  • GS – Group stage
  • Q – Qualified for upcoming tournament
  • q – may still qualify for upcoming tournament
  •  •  – Did not qualify
  •  •×  – Disqualified
  •  ×  – Did not enter / Withdrew / Banned
  •    – Hosts

For each tournament, the number of teams in each finals tournament (in brackets) are shown.

Team 1994
(12)
1996
(12)
1998
(12)
2000
(12)
2002
(16)
2004
(16)
2006
(16)
2008
(16)
2010
(16)
2012
(16)
2014
(16)
2016
(16)
2018
(16)
Participations
 Austria 9th 11th 2
 Belarus 8th 15th 12th 10th 4
 Croatia 3rd 5th 8th 6th 16th 4th 4th 2nd 2nd 3rd 4th 3rd Q 13
 Czech Republic 6th 10th 8th 11th 13th 8th 14th 15th 8
 Denmark 4th 12th 10th 3rd 3rd 3rd 1st 5th 1st 2nd 6th 11
 France 6th 7th 7th 4th 6th 6th 1st 3rd 1st 11th 1st 5th 12
 Germany 9th 8th 3rd 9th 2nd 1st 5th 4th 10th 7th 1st Q 12
 Hungary 7th 10th 6th 9th 13th 8th 14th 8th 8th 12th 10
 Iceland 11th 4th 13th 7th 11th 3rd 10th 5th 13th 9
 Israel 14th 1
 Italy 11th 1
 Lithuania 9th 1
 Macedonia x 12th 5th 10th 11th 4
 Montenegro1 12th 16th 16th 3
 Norway 8th 11th 6th 7th 13th 14th 4th 7
 Poland 15th 16th 10th 7th 4th 9th 6th 7th 8
 Portugal 12th 7th 9th 14th 15th 5
 Romania 11th 9th 2
 Russia 2nd 1st 4th 2nd 5th 5th 6th 14th 12th 15th 9th 9th 12
 Serbia 1 13th 2nd 13th 15th 4
 Slovakia 16th 16th 16th 3
 Slovenia 10th 11th 5th 12th 2nd 8th 10th 11th 6th 14th 10
 Spain 5th 2nd 2nd 3rd 7th 10th 2nd 9th 6th 4th 3rd 2nd Q 13
 Sweden 1st 4th 1st 1st 1st 7th 5th 15th 12th 7th 8th Q 12
  Switzerland 13th 12th 14th 3
 Ukraine 12th 11th 15th 12th 16th 5
Historical national teams
 Serbia and Montenegro1 9th 1
 Yugoslavia1 x 3rd 5th 10th 8th 4
1 FR Yugoslavia competed as such until 2003 when the FRY was reconstituted as a State Union Serbia and Montenegro. Since the dissolution of the union in 2006, national teams exist for both countries.

References[edit]

  1. ^ History of Handball from ihf.info, retrieved 7 February 2006
  2. ^ a b Medals Table – Ranking At Men's World Championships A 1938–1990 from ihf.info, retrieved 7 February 2006
  3. ^ (German) Handball-Bundesliga diskutiert Reduzierung auf 16 Teams, by Erik Eggers, published by Der Spiegel online, 30 January 2006
  4. ^ (Norwegian) (ed) Arvid Eriksen Sportsboken 1994, pg. 291, Schibsted. ISBN 82-516-1543-7.
  5. ^ a b c (German) Von Porto bis Ljubljana, from Handballworld.com, retrieved 7 February 2006
  6. ^ "EHF EURO 1994 – All Star Team announced". ehf-euro.com. 12 June 1994. Retrieved 2 October 2013. 
  7. ^ EHF – Match details, retrieved 7 February 2006
  8. ^ Talant Dujshebaev, from hand-ball.org, retrieved 7 February 2006
  9. ^ a b 2000 Men's European Championship – Finals, from EHF, retrieved 27 January 2006
  10. ^ (Swedish) Ryssland väntar i semifinalen, retrieved 27 February 2006
  11. ^ (German) Deutschland verpaßt Europameistertitel nur knapp – Schweden am Rande der Niederlage from starpix.se, retrieved 27 February 2006
  12. ^ 2002 – Men's European Championship, – Finals – Germany v Sweden, retrieved 27 February 2006
  13. ^ (German) Vor der EM – Keine Panik", by Martin Kloth, published by stern.de, retrieved 27 February 2006
  14. ^ a b Deutschland ist im Finale
  15. ^ (German) Slowenien erreicht nach 27:25-Sieg über Kroatien das Finale, from thw-provinzial.de, retrieved 27 February 2006
  16. ^ (German)Europameister! Deutschland gegen Gastgeber Slowenien ganz cool zum Titel, from thw-provinzial.de, retrieved 27 February 2006
  17. ^ (Norwegian) Drama mot Kroatia, Webjørn Espeland, NRK, retrieved 19 July 2008
  18. ^ (Northern Sami) Tyskland stoppade Sverige, Martin Ahlin, Eurosport, retrieved 19 July 2008

External links[edit]