Qatar national handball team will meet their Danish counterparts on Thursday in their main round competitions opener in the 27th IHF Men's World Championship in Cairo, Egypt. The tournament will conclude on January 31.
The Qatari national team qualified after finishing second in Group C in the first round, where they had two wins over Angola 30-25, Japan 31-29 and one loss to Croatia 24-26, while Denmark in Group D had three victories against Bahrain 34-20, DR Congo 39-19, and Argentina 31-20.
The Qatari team looks forward to achieving surprise at the expense of the Danish team, a 2019 title holder and a strong candidate to win the title of the current competition, especially after the good performance by the Qatari team in their group matches, confirming their ability to keep up with the European teams and outperform them.
Qatar’s Spanish coach Valero Rivera praised his players for their performance.
“I’m proud of my boys the way they played in the preliminary round. We lost against Croatia, but it was a very tough match, and we made some mistakes, but that doesn’t take away anything from the boys’ show. They gave their 100 percent,” Rivera said.
Group C and Group D’s top three teams are bunched together in Group B in the main round. While Qatar will not repeat their matches against Croatia and Japan (points will be carried forward from the previous round), they will have to contend with defending world champions Denmark, South American runners-up Argentina and Asian runners-up Bahrain.
Commenting over the next round of matches, Rivera said, the Denmark match would be their most challenging opponent.
“World Champions Denmark will be our toughest opponent and the team to beat. We’ll have to raise our game and I have full confidence in my team,” he said.
Qatar will meet Bahrain on Saturday at 10.30pm before meeting Argentina two days later at 8.00pm.
In the main round, Group A includes Hungary, Germany, Uruguay, Spain, Poland, and Brazil, while Group C includes France, Norway, Switzerland, Portugal, Iceland, and Algeria, and Group D with Sweden, Egypt, North Macedonia, Russia, Slovenia, and Belarus.
The two teams ranked first and second in each group, qualify for the quarterfinals at the start of the elimination rounds in the tournament.
Qatar national team's participation in the world championship is their eighth appearance after Portugal 2003, Tunisia 2005, Germany 2007, Spain 2013, Qatar 2015, France 2017, Germany and Denmark 2019. Qatar finished the 2015 World Championship in second place which was the best result in the history of its participation.