The last opportunity to qualify for the postponed Tokyo Olympics begins for the men’s teams from South and Central America.
Starting this Friday, March 12 and until Sunday, March 14, the three tournaments that will give the last six tickets to the appointment of the rings will be played in parallel. Tournament 1 will be held in Pogdorica, the capital of Montenegro after the IHF decided to change the original venue due to the access restrictions decided by the Norwegian authorities, the original place of the event. Tournament 2 will be played in Montpellier, France and Tournament 3 in Berlin, Germany.
Let us remember that there are six teams classified for these Olympic Games. The first of them is the host Japan, along with the reigning champion on the original Tokyo 2020 date, Denmark. The respective continental champions and qualifying events are also classified: Spain, Egypt, Bahrain and Argentina.
Tournament 2 brings together the local France that will seek their classification against Tunisia, Portugal and Croatia, in one of the toughest dispute groups that are announced on paper, especially the local’s duel against Portugal, who took it out of Euro 2020, but in Egypt 2021 Les Blues returned the hand of the Portuguese leaving them on the road in the Main Round. And Croatia that arrives with a new coach after the abdication of Lino Cervar after being defeated by Argentina in the recent World Cup in Egypt.
Tournament 3 will face the local Germany in the home of the Berlin Foxes (Berlin Füsche), a stadium with capacity for 11,000 spectators and that will be empty due to the health restrictions associated with Covid-19, a strengthened Sweden after its participation in Egypt 2021, Algeria and Slovenia. Let us also remember that in this tournament the pair of IHF referees from Argentina will be present, made up of Julián López-Grillo and Sebastián Lenci.
Tournament 1 is the one that arouses the most interest in America, since it placed two of its powers among the four that will compete for the two available places. Brazil and Chile, arriving by different routes, will face Norway and the Republic of Korea. Brazil enters this tournament for its ninth place obtained in the previous IHF World Cup by not achieving a direct place in the JJPP of Lima 2019. And Chile classifies precisely for the second place obtained in Lima 2019 where it left Brazil on the way by defeating it in semifinals.
Marcus “Tata” Oliveira, the coach of Brazil, assures that “we are ready to do a great Pre-Olympic. Brazil will enter the field to seek classification at all costs. Norway is a very high quality team, which is in the highest echelon of world handball. Korea and Chile are consistent teams and we must be very careful throughout the game. We have conditions for the classification, but we will only achieve it if we are very applied all the time ”in an interview on the CBHb website.
For its part, Chile faces one of the most important challenges in the history of its handball where it will once again try to achieve a place in the only relevant international tournament in which it has never participated, the Olympic Games, where the other two giants of America Argentina and Brazil they have already been. “I am very happy to be able to go and be part of the National Team that can do something so historic for national handball. I am very focused, eager and ready to face this new challenge,” Erwin Feuchtmann comments to the portal of the FChB.
For us, simple spectators and always number 1 fans of the America representatives team´s, we hope that our squads will achieve both places, which would constitute an absolutely unprecedented fact and for which despite not having achieved the best results in the past World Cup in Egypt 2021, the continent’s teams have more than demonstrated that they are capable of giving more than one surprise on Planet Handball.