Handball - 2021 IHF Handball World Championship - Gold Medal Match - Denmark v Sweden - Cairo Stadium Hall 1, Cairo, Egypt - January 31, 2021 General view of the trophy before the match REUTERS
Egypt earned wide acclaim from most of the teams who took part in the 27th Men's Handball World Championship after hosting a successful, trouble-free tournament despite the coronavirus pandemic.
The country staged the World Championship from 13-31 January -- an expanded 32-team version that presented a real challenge to authorities amid a second wave of the pandemic.
Egypt came seventh for their best position since their fourth-place finish in 2001 while Denmark, who ousted the Pharaohs 39-38 in the quarters following a penalty shootout, were crowned world champions for a second straight time after defeating Sweden 26-24 in the final.
Egypt repeatedly said its top priority is the health of all participants, taking a raft of measures to ensure their safety.
The country introduced the COVID-19 Medical Precaution Plan, which included a full bubble concept with hotels exclusively reserved for participants.
Most of the participants extoled Egypt's efforts in hosting the tournament against the odds.
Here are a few reactions:
"It has been amazing to see how the sport of handball was shining during these days. Egypt has set an example for the organisation of a great sporting event during this pandemic."
International Olympic Committee President Dr Thomas Bach
“I want to thank the Egyptian government and the organising committee of the World Championship for hosting the tournament as it is a brilliant event. We are happy to be in Egypt."
Brazil assistant coach Giancarlos Ramírez
“I want to thank Egypt and the Organising Committee for the superb hosting. We witnessed here a brilliant World Championship despite the pandemic.
Brazil left back José Luciano
“We will return home with great memories from Egypt."
Switzerland captain Cedrie Tynowski
"I think Egypt succeeded in organising this tournament the way they have in a difficult time."
Hungary captain Roland Mikler
“It’s a great achievement to see two Arab teams among the best 8 teams in the world as Egypt has a wonderful team. Egypt's hosting of the World Championship has been successful, so I want to thank the Organising Committee and the International Handball Federation for their efforts despite the difficult circumstances."
Qatar pivot Youssef Benali
"Egypt did a great job organising the event in extremely challenging circumstances. We are happy to have played here and been in Egypt, I want to thank all organisers. We have a great impression of Egypt now."
Belarus coach Yury Shevtsov
“I am happy to be here in Egypt. The medical precautions are going very well as we are in wide spaces, with masks on all the time, really everything is going well. Egyptians are very nice and always willing to help. We enjoyed a warm welcome."
Germany coach Oliver Roggisch
“I admire the organising committee and their ability to control everything during the corona pandemic. The medical precautions are abided by very strictly."
Head of Germany’s delegation Axel Kromer
"Egypt is doing great job. I congratulate Egypt for this wonderful event and all the precautionary measures they are applying to ensure our safety. Organisers work together in harmony to produce a successful event. The participation of 32 teams for the first time in the history of the competition has made it strong and exciting.”
Spain captain Raúl Entrerríos
"I thank Egypt for hosting and organising the event, the most important championship in the handball history as it’s played amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Organising the World Championship in such circumstances indicates that handball has a great future."
Croatia coach Lino Červar