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Handball Tournaments at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games

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The field of participants – twelve men’s teams and eight women’s teams – remained unchanged but the format of the women’s tournament changed. Following the preliminary round matches semi-finals, finals and placement matches were staged. After the fall of the Iron Curtain countries like the GDR no longer existed, and the URS competed as the EUN  - Commonwealth of Independent States. Yet, it wasn’t detrimental to their success. Four years after the Soviet Union’s triumph the men’s team of the EUN became Olympic champions. South Korea defended their title in the women’s tournament and proved that their triumph on home soil four years before had not just been a flash in the pan. 
In the men’s tournament Sweden and the EUN kept a clean record after five wins and five matches to make it through to the semi-finals. As for the other group, Sweden ranked at the top having gained three points more than the surprising Icelandic team; the EUN ranked ahead of France and host Spain. Predominance continued in the semi-finals: The EUN beat Iceland 23:19 (11:9), France was without any chance and lost 22:25 (10:10) to Sweden. However, the Frenchmen were happy about their first Olympic handball medal, as they gained a 24:20 (12:9) win over Iceland in the match for third place – a duel that was meant to be an Olympic final 16 years later. The final was a hard-fought match –and following a 9:9 half-time score the EUN triumphed 22:20 – it was the beginning of Sweden’s Olympic final curse, which was meant to continue. The tournament’s top scorer was EUN player Talant Dushebajew (47 goals), who later gained Spanish citizenship and who was meant to become the first and sole male handball player to win the IHF Super Globe as both a player and a coach. An Olympic All-Star Team was presented for the first time including three players from the EUN (among others keeper Andrej Lawrow), two Swedes, one Frenchman and one Korean. 
Korea’s women proved even more predominant than four years before. Norway earned the silver again. Both teams had already met in the preliminary round and despite their defeat to the Asian side Norway ranked second to qualify for the semi-finals. They celebrated a narrow 23:22 (13:12) victory over the EUN women who had kept a clean record in the preliminary round ahead of Germany. The Germans came close but finally lost 25:26 (13:17) to Korea in their semi-final. Afterwards they also had to give in 20:24 (9:10) to the EUN in their match for bronze. Then the final was plain sailing for Korea - 28:21 (16:8), which had O-Kyung Lim as the second-ranked top scorer (30 goals) behind EUN player Natalia Morskova (41). Three Korean players were also part of the All-Star Team. 
Men’s Final Ranking:
Gold: EUN - Silver: SWE - Bronze: FRA - 4. ISL - 5. ESP - 6. KOR - 7. HUN - 8. ROM - 9. TCH - 10. GER - 11. EGY - 12. BRA
Women’s Final Ranking:
Gold: KOR - Silver: NOR - Bronze: EUN - 4. GER - 5. AUT - 6. USA - 7. ESP - 8. NGR