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2019 Men’s World Championship 2019 Men’s World Championship
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Date: 3/29/2019

After relinquishing their EHF EURO crown in December 2018, Norway took a statement win in the third leg of the 2018/19 Golden League as they recorded three straight victories to take both the tournament trophy and the overall edition title. At the four-nation tournament, contested between regular Golden League participants Norway, Denmark and France, as well as invited squad Romania from March 21 to 24, Denmark ranked second behind Norway, France finished third and Romania placed fourth.


Norway’s results included an impressive win over current European and world champions France, who claimed their first EHF EURO title in December. After winning six of the eight available European titles between 2002 and 2016, and finishing as runners-up on the other two occasions, Norway’s fifth rank at the EHF EURO 2018 was a severe disappointment.


“France are ruling a little too much now. We don't like that!” Norway captain Stine Oftedal told the official website of the Norwegian Handball Federation after her side’s win over France on the final day of Golden League competition. After trailing by one goal at half-time, 11:12, Norway played a stronger second period to claim a 24:22 win.


In their other encounters, Norway recorded a 31:27 (16:15) result against Romania on day two after a dominant 31:20 (15:7) win versus Denmark to open their campaign. The round one clash was the 156th match between Norway and Denmark, and the ninth consecutive win for Norway in the head-to-head record.


It was not a particularly positive tournament for hosts France, who may have hoped for more considering their status as the reigning world and European champions. France not only lost to Norway, but were also defeated by Denmark, 22:25 (12:12).


Their one victory at the home tournament in Boulazec came against Romania on day one, and it seemed a positive start with a clear 28:18 (15:8) result in France’s favour. However, Denmark goalkeeper Sandra Toft proved a tough obstacle for France on the second match day, and they could not recover from the loss to challenge Norway for the win.


Along with their victory over France and the loss to Norway, Denmark’s record at the final 2018/19 Golden League tournament included a clear win against Romania. On the final day of games, on Sunday March 24, Denmark beat the EHF EURO 2018 semi-finalists 36:23 (13:11). That game was the 70th with current coach Klavs Bruun Jorgensen at the helm.


The next edition of the Women’s Golden League will be played over the 2020/21 season. In 2019/20, the Men’s Golden League will take its turn in the spotlight.


Photo: Vidar Ruud / NTB Scanpix