Ibrahim El Masry (Photo: the World Championship's official Twitter account)
Egypt’s handball national team made a good achievement at the Men's World Championship amid difficult conditions, the Pharaohs player Ibrahim El-Masry said on Tuesday.
After Sunday's 24-24 draw with Slovenia, hosts Egypt reached the quarterfinals of the 27th Men's Handball World Championship, after landing second place in Group IV with seven points, and are set to face World Champions Denmark on Wednesday in a decisive encounter.
"We played really well, we were down against Slovenia, but our shot efficiency is what made the difference," El-Masry told the tournament's official website.
"The game was difficult, we worked really hard, so it made no sense to not get past the main round. All games are hard, we don't have long to prepare. Everyone did their job. Us, the coaching staff, and everyone swore to fight for each match," he added.
Egypt is hosting the prestigious Championship from 13 to 31 January with the participation of 32 teams — a record number of teams — despite the coronavirus pandemic, while adhering to the precautionary measures against the virus.
The Pharaohs have given superb performances since the onset of the World Championship, beating Chile 35-29 and smashing North Macedonia 38-19, before finishing the preliminary round with the narrow 24-23 loss to topflight Sweden.
In the main round of the World Championship, Egypt defeated Belarus 35-26 and the Russian Handball Federation 28-23, before finishing the main round with the 25-25 draw with Slovenia to snatch a place among the top eight teams in the world.
"Reaching the quarterfinals and being one of the best eight teams is a good achievement. We want to go even further, we'll prepare for Denmark and see how things go after that," said El-Masry.
"I thank my teammates and coaching staff, the Egyptian Handball Federation, and everyone involved in making an effort to help us, even though we didn't prepare well because of COVID-19," he concluded.
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