The Official Draw Results

The Results are In! Who will you be rooting for at this year’s Men’s Handball World Championship?

For the first time a country from the Gulf region will host the Handball World Championship, and for the first time a full Men’s World Championship is to be played in only one city.

The tension is rising, as all 24 participants are confirmed and placed.

In the final stage of the draw, hosts Qatar have chosen group A for their preliminary round of the World Championship, that will take place from the 15th January to the 1st February 2015.

Who’s In?

Algeria

10,000 spectators were sent into a frenzy when Algeria finished the African Championships on home ground in January, and became continental champions for the first time since 1996.

By winning the final against Tunisia, they also ended their opponent’s African title streak at two.

Argentina

By winning their third Pan-American title in June (2010, 2012, 2014) Argentina showed their outstanding role on the continental stage.

After missing the eighth-finals in Spain (2013), the “Gauchos” (Olympic participant in 2012) are looking to be among the top 16 teams in Doha.

Austria

The “best Austrian generation ever” will say farewell after the 2015 World Championship, so will be looking to go out with a bang.

Players such as Victor Szilagyi and Robert Weber have helped produce a major upswing in Austrian handball – and managed to beat Norway in the qualification play-offs.

Bahrain

The host of the 2014 Asian Championship finished in silver medal position on home ground in February, and clinched their second shot at the World Championship.

The Algerian coach Saleh Bouchekriou is well-known for developing talents, so Bahrain hopes to improve on their 23rd positioning in the 2011 competition.

Belarus

Top player Siarhei Rutenka was key for the second straight Belarusian qualification for the World Championship, as the team look to improve on their eighth-final positioning.

All success depends on the five-time winner of the EHF Champions League, currently playing for FC Barcelona.

Bosnia-Herzegovina

Bosnia-Herzegovina managed to qualify for a major handball event for the first time after eliminating 2008 Olympic silver medalists Iceland in the qualification play-offs.

Coach Dragan Markovic has composed a mixture of talent and experience, which has nothing to lose in Doha.

Brazil

The World Championship in Qatar is Brazil’s next important step prior to hosting the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Their experienced Spanish-born coach Jordi Ribera has composed a strong team, which made it to the eighth-finals of the 2013 World Championship and to the silver medal at the 2014 Pan-American Championship.

Chile

A brilliant last second goal in the bronze medal match at the Pan-American Championships in June provided Chile with their second ticket to the World Championship after 2013.

The Chileans have a few top players to watch including Marko Oneto, who plays in Germany, and their top scorer Rodrigo Salinas.

Croatia

Croatia were Olympic Champions in 1996 and 2004, and World champions in 2003 – but have added no major title to their name in the past decade despite reaching the semi-finals in nearly all competitions.

They will be eager to end this semi-final and bronze medal curse in Qatar, and current World Handball Player of the Year Domagoj Duvnjak is at the head of the experienced Croatian team.

Czech Republic

Filip Jicha is by far the most important player on the Czech team.

The 2010 World Handball Player of the Year, twice Champions League winner and one-time winner of the IHF Super Globe with THW, was the key to turning an eight goal deficit to a 12 goal advantage, in the first qualification play-off leg against Serbia.

This will be the nation’s first World Championship appearance since 2007.

Denmark

In 2011 and 2013 the Danes reached the World Championship finals, but both times suffered defeat to France and Spain, respectively.

On home ground in 2014 they reached the European Championship final but again lost to France.

Top stars include former World Handball Player of the Year Mikkel Hansen and Niklas Landin, who has been voted the best goalkeeper in the world.

Egypt

The Egyptian team is in a full transition, as coach Moustafa Manwan integrates new talent from the 2010 Youth Olympic Games winners team.

Egypt clinched their place in Doha as bronze medalists at the African Championships.

France

Since 2006 France has collected an impressive set of trophies: Olympic gold in 2008 and 2012, World titles in 2009 and 2011, and European crowns in 2006, 2010 and 2014.

The “golden generation” which includes former World Handball Players of the Year Nikola Karabatic, Thierry Omeyer and Daniel Narcisse is mostly still onboard – and is one of the main contenders to add another trophy to their tally.

Germany

Despite losing their qualification matches against Poland, Germany are part of the World Championship after the IHF awarded them as substitute nation for Oceania.

The 2007 World Champions ranked fifth at the 2013 edition, but then missed qualification for the 2014 European Championship.

Iran

Iran are first timers to the World Championship after winning the bronze medal at the 2014 Asian Championship.

The two-time Asian Games silver medalists hope the experienced skills of the former Qatari coach Borut Macek to rub off, as the coach took over the team for the second time in March.

FYR Macedonia

Skilled player Kiril Lazarov is the head, hand and leader of the Macedonian team.

The best scorer in a single World Championship (2009) and a single European Championship (2012) will be boosted by the successes of Macedonian clubs in the Champions League.

Poland

By beating the 2007 World Champions Germany in the play-offs, Poland have made their aspirations come true.

One year before they host the 2016 European Championship, the 2007 World Championship finalist is a strong contender to at the least reach the quarter-finals.

Qatar

Hosting this World Championship will offer the world stage for the Qatari team, who are taking part in their fifth World Championship. After signing legendary Spaniard Valero Rivera as the new coach of the national team, the only way is up, as the team come fresh from their first title victory earlier this year at the Asian Championship.

Russia

After missing the 2011 World Championship, the record holding World Champions replaced legendary coach Vladimir Maximov with the younger duo Oleg Kuleshov and Alexander Rymanov. Soon success returned with Russia reaching the 2013 World Championship quarter-final.

The rejuvenated team is again aiming for a top eight position in Doha.

Slovenia

A sensational 6:0 final series in the second qualification leg against the 2012 Olympic semi-finalists Hungary secured the teams place in Doha led by Boris Denic.

Slovenia were semi-finalists at the 2013 World Championship, finishing fourth, but missed the 2014 European Championship.

Spain

Two-time World Champions Spain (2005, 2013) arrive in Doha as the defending champions – and eager to fight for a medal again. Their new coach Manoel Cadenas can count on a highly experienced team with players contracted to some of the biggest clubs in the world.

Sweden

Recent years have been a roller coaster ride for Sweden. Two months after missing out on the 2013 World Championship the “Tre-Kronor team” became Olympic silver medalists in London.

Coaches Ola Lindgren and Staffan Olsson have a star-studded selection of top players in their squad.

Tunisia

With the return of their legendary coach Sead Hasanefendic, Tunisia’s hopes to reach the quarter-final in Doha seems highly possible.

Hasanefendic led Tunisia (silver medalists at the 2014 African Championship) to the World Championship semi-final in 2005 and can currently count on top stars Wael Jallouz and Amine Bannour to dominate the games.

United Arab Emirates

Four brothers of the Al Blooshi family are key players of the Emirates team, which – like Iran – are a World Championship first timer.

Finishing fourth at the 2014 Asian Champions granted Spanish-born coach Julian Gomez’s team a coveted spot in Doha.