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Date: 2/4/2007

They failed to come up to the expectations to gain the WCh title but came off as the winner of the match for 5th place: Following 60 entertaining but rather one-sided minutes Croatia overcame Russia 34:5 (18:12). The double Olympic champions in every regard were superior thanks to outstanding playmaker Ivano Balic (eight goals) to keep high speed and to control the match at any time. Russia, triple World Champions (1982, 1993 and 1997), five time WCh fifth-ranked, had to be content again with sixth place just like in 2001. Croatia’s right wing became Man of the Match having scored eight goals. Both teams earned a place in the qualifying stage for the Beijing 2008 Olympics.


Struggled title holders Spain earned a trouble-free 40:36 (19:13) victory over Iceland to secure at least important seventh place at the XX World Championship that earned them a spot in the Olympic qualifying for the Beijing Olympic Handball Tournament 2008. With 15 min played, they gained the upper hand in front of 18,500 at Kölnarena to keep control of the match until the final whistle was blown thanks to goalkeeper Ibanez Hombrados (16 saves). WCh eighth-ranked Iceland now has to try to make through next year’s European Championship in Norway to book a ticket for the Olympics. They comforted themselves with the fact that left wing Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson contributed another eight goals to attain the tournament’s record score of 66 so far


Final Ranking as of 03 February:

5 CRO - Croatia
6 RUS - Russia
7 ESP - Spain
8 ISL - Iceland
9 HUN - Hungary
10 SLO - Slovenia
11 TUN - Tunisia
12 CZE - Czech Republic
13 NOR - Norway
14 UKR - Ukraine
15 KOR - Korea
16 ARG - Argentina
17 EGY - Egypt
18 KUW - Kuwait
19 BRA - Brazil
20 MAR - Morocco
21 ANG - Angola
22 GRL - Greenland
23 QAT - Qatar
24 AUS - Australia