Handball: Hosts Egypt pick group that includes Sweden, Czech Republic in World Championship

Ahram Online , Saturday 5 Sep 2020

Egypt hosted the World Championship draw against the spectacular backdrop of the Sphinx and Pyramids (Photo: the tournament's official Twitter account)

Hosts Egypt assigned themselves to a group that includes Sweden and the Czech Republic in the expanded Handball World Championship after the draw was made against the spectacular backdrop of the Sphinx and Pyramids on Saturday.

Group G also features the representatives of the South and Central America Handball Confederation (SCAHC), who are yet to be determined.

The 2021 edition, which will take place from 13-31 January, will include 32 teams for the first time in the tournament's history.

The preliminary round features eight groups of four teams each. The top three teams from each group will advance to the main round, where they will be divided into four groups of six teams each.

The top-two teams from each group will then advance to the quarterfinals.

Egypt will come up against four-time World Championship winners Sweden, their toughest opponents in the preliminary round. The Czech Republic have also won the tournament once in 1967.

"We are looking to go as far as possible in the World Championship," said Hesham Nasr, the president of the Egyptian Handball Federation.

"We are realistic with regards to our hopes but we are emboldened by the impressive results of our national youth teams."

Last year, Egypt's U19 handball team won the World Championship in Macedonia while the U21 side clinched the bronze medal in Spain.

The best outcome for Egypt's senior side was a fourth-place finish in France in 2001. In last year's edition in Denmark and Germany, the Pharaohs finished eighth for their best position in 18 years.

They also won the African Championship in Tunisia earlier this year.

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