Africa Handball Headline News Sport

Egypt crash out of IHF world championship

African No. 1 men’s handball team, the Pharaohs of Egypt on Wednesday, crashed out of the International Handball Federation (IHF) World Championship; after losing to Sweden 26-22 in the quarter-finals.

The result means, the Pharaohs who were the fourth best team at the last Championship, failed to make it to the Semifinals, and will play against the loser of the encounter between France and Germany in the classification match for 5th-8th.

Egypt qualified for Quarter-Finals of the 2023 World Championship, by defeating Bahrain 26-22 in their main-round game on Saturday, January 21st.

The win propelled the Pharaohs to sit on top of their group, ahead of Denmark, Croatia, Bahrain, Belgium, and the United States.

The team thus maintained their perfect score of five consecutive wins after defeating Belgium on Thursday, January 19th, before beating Bahrain, two days later.

Their perfect record was kicked off in a historic win against Croatia on Saturday, January 13, followed by victories against Maghreb rivals, Morocco on Sunday, January 15th, and the United States on Tuesday, January 17th.

The match bett Egypt and Bahrain was heated and suspenseful, as both teams were neck and neck during the first half. But with efforts from Yehia El Deraa and Ali Zein, Egypt had a dominant lead of 13-9 at halftime.

Goalkeeper Karim El Hendawi also gave the Pharaohs a spectacular performance with 16 saves, that earned him the Man of the Match award.

Olympic Gold medalists France, two-time reigning world champions Denmark and co-hosts Sweden are among the teams vying for a spot in the semi-finals in Gdansk and Stockholm.

The tournament winners will go on to clinch an automatic berth at the Paris Olympics, in 2024.

After the preliminary and main rounds, the 2023 Men’s Championship in Poland and Sweden reached the knockout stages with all four quarter-finals taking place on Wednesday, January 25th.

All 27 previous World Championships have been won by European nations and only reigning African Champions, Egypt looked good enough to stop the trophy staying in Europe once more, but the Pharaohs are now eliminated.

The powerhouse nations of the sport, are two-time reigning world champions Denmark and Tokyo 2020 Olympic gold medalists France.

Reporting by Chinedum Ohanusi; Editing by Abdullahi Lamino