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Date: 6/27/2017

The draw for the 23rd IHF Women’s World Championship was held in Hamburg on Tuesday with defending champions Norway drawn into Group B, where they will take on 2016 Olympic quarter-finalists Sweden, Czech Republic, Hungary, Pan American runners-up Argentina and wild card entry Poland.


The 2017 event in Germany will be the sixth participation for Czech Republic, who return after failing to qualify in 2015. All other Group B participants were at the previous edition in 2015, where Sweden ranked ninth, Hungary finished 11th, Argentina placed 18th and Poland made it to the semi-finals. Poland lost their Europe Qualification Play-off to 2016 Olympic gold medallists Russian Federation, but were awarded the wild card for the 2017 World Championship based on their results at Denmark 2015.


In Group A, 2016 Olympic silver medallists France will meet 2015 World Championship bronze medallists Romania, who remain the only nation to have qualified for every Women’s World Championship since the first was held in 1957. Also in Group A are 2012 Olympic bronze medallists Spain, Slovenia – returning to the World Championship for the first time since their last participation in 2005, African champions Angola, and Paraguay, for whom it is the third qualification for the World Championship.


In Group C, hosts of the previous World Championship, Denmark, will take on Russia, 2013 world champions Brazil, 2012 Olympic silver medallists Montenegro, hosts of the 2019 Women’s World Championship Japan, and African runners-up Tunisia.


2015 World Championship and EHF EURO 2016 silver medallists Netherlands will begin their campaign from Group D in Leipzig, where they will face hosts Germany, 2013 runners-up Serbia, the Republic of Korea, the People’s Republic of China, and Cameroon.


Korea remain the only non-European nation apart from Brazil to have raised the World Championship trophy and were the first to do so in 1995. China ranked 17th at Denmark 2015, where they won the President’s Cup, while Cameroon travel to Germany for their second ever World Championship after their first participation in 2005 where they finished 22nd.


Ambassador for the 2017 World Championship, Grit Jurack, who herself won two bronze medals at the World Championship representing Germany in 1997 and 2007, said the event on home ground almost two decades ago remains one of her fondest handball memories:

“20 years ago when I played the World Championship on home ground it was one of the best experiences ever,” said Jurack, before adding her thoughts on Germany's chances. “I am sure that the German team will make it to Hamburg – at least to the semi-finals and maybe will win a medal. The Netherlands are my favourites in the German group, so we will duel with Serbia and Korea for the second rank.”

The preliminary round groups decided at the draw event are as follows:


Group A: France, Romania, Spain, Slovenia, Angola, Paraguay (Trier)

Group B: Norway, Sweden, Czech Republic, Hungary, Argentina, Poland (Bietigheim Bissingen)

Group C: Denmark, Russian Federation, Brazil, Montenegro, Japan, Tunisia (Oldenburg)

Group D: Netherlands, Germany, Serbia, Republic of Korea, People’s Republic of China, Cameroon (Leipzig)


Photo: DHB