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Date: 6/10/2013

After the Pan-American Championship had been completed on Saturday with a clear final victory of Brazil, the last eight spots for the Women’s World Championship in Serbia (7 – 22 December 2013) were confirmed in the European play-offs until Sunday 9 June 2013. The biggest surprise was caused by the Netherlands, who won the away match in Russia sensationally clear by 33:21, eliminating the four-time World Champion from the top event for the first time since 1973 despite an away victory in the first leg.
As France took the away hurdle in Croatia after a draw on home ground in the first leg, another Olympic quarter-finalist failed on the way to Serbia, while the 2011 silver medallist avoided their first elimination since 1997. Sweden, European silver medallist in 2010 and Olympic participant in London, will miss the World Championship, too, after their second defeat against Poland. The Czech women made it to a World Championship for the first time since 1993.
After the completion of the European play-offs, all four semi-finalists of the 2011 World Championship in Brazil clinched their berth for the 2013 edition in Serbia: Defending champions Norway had directly qualified, France, Spain and Denmark succeeded in the qualification matches.
In addition to those teams, Germany qualified for Serbia as one of six teams to win both play-off-matches – like Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, Poland and Romania. All those had already opened the gate widely after winning the first leg matches. The biggest overall margins were reached by Denmark (+23 against Turkey), Spain (+17 against FYR Macedonia) and the Czech Republic (+17 against Iceland).
In total 12 European teams will compete in Serbia, as the host, the defending champion Norway, European champion Montenegro and Hungary had qualified before.

The results of the European play-offs for the Women’s World Championship in Serbia:
Russia vs. Netherlands 21:33 (10:11) - first leg 27:26
Ukraine vs. Germany 22:25 (10:11) - first leg 16:24
Croatia vs. France 26:30 (12:13) - first leg 18:18
Romania vs. Slovakia 30:22 (18:14) - first leg 23:21
Poland vs. Sweden 32:31 (17:15) - first leg 26:23
Czech Republic vs. Iceland 26:21 (15:9) - first leg 29:17
Denmark vs. Turkey 31:26 (13:15) - first leg 42:24
Spain – FYR Macedonia  27:16 (16:8) – first leg: 27:21


Now the field of participants for the event has been completed, those 24 teams have made their way through the qualification process:
Host: Serbia
Defending champions: Norway
Africa: Angola, Tunisia, Algeria and DR Congo
Asia: Korea, China, Japan
Pan-America: Brazil, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Paraguay
Europe: Montenegro, Hungary, Netherlands, Germany, France, Denmark, Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Spain
Oceania: Australia


The four groups of the preliminary rounds will be drawn on Saturday, 15 June at 11:30 local time in the City Hall of the Serbian capital Belgrade. The draw event will start with a get-together as of 10:30 and will be followed by a joint press conference of the Serbian Handball Federation RSS and the IHF.
Those four groups will be played in Belgrade, Nis, Novi Sad and Zrenjanin. The four best-ranked teams of each group qualify for the eighth-finals, the remaining eight teams fight for the ranking 17 to 24 in the President’s Cup.