Last but not least, group D gathered the teams of Denmark, Qatar, Sweden, Bahrain, Argentina and Egypt in the French capital – Paris.
The obvious favorites to lead the group are, undoubtedly, Denmark. The two-time European champions have still not had the chance of coming to the very top of World Championships which motivates them more than ever to reach the historic result with the team led by some of the best European handball players – Mikkel Hansen, Niklas Landin, Kasper Søndergaard and Henrik Møllgaard.
The Qatari team are certainly not unknown to the world of handball. Since hosting one of the greatest handball World Championships in 2015, they have been growing in quality. Qatar are, with the Catalan coach Valero Rivera, coming to France expecting to pass the group to say the least, but having the coach who brings the best in them we could be seeing them staying in France for a much longer time.
Quadruple World and European champions and four-time Olympic silver medalists – you’ve guessed it, Sweden! A national team full of accomplishments, though in the last decade their success has been put on hold, winning their last medal at London Olympics in 2012 which stops the streak of achievements. This year they are attacking the world’s handball top with head coach Kristjan Andersson who will in France premiere as the national team’s coach.
Winning their ticket to France, Argentina have noted their 10th consecutive appeareance at the World Championships. With nearly half of the Argentine team playing in Europe (mostly in France and Spain), the players are arriving to a somewhat well-know terrain with a great possibility of passing the group phase.
The African champions, Egypt, bring to the stage the head coach Marwan Ragab with experienced players such as Mohamed Mamdouh and Ibrahim El Masry. Except missing the 2012 London, Egypt have qualified for every Olympics since 1992, participating also at the last Olympics in Rio in 2016. Despite none of the bigger accomplishments at such events, this is their chance to break out to come out of the shadows as well as a break through to the big scene of handball for some of Egyptian players.
Lastly, after their constant improvement through Asian Championships, Bahrain want to make a progress reaching the quarter finals after missing their ticket to Rio 2016. The team led by Abdel-Jail Bouanani will have to put in their maximum efforts to reach what would for the team be quite an achievement.
Group D – Paris: