In a clear win against Qatar (30:17), Norway got closer to their fourth consecutive quarter-final berth at the IHF Men’s World Championship, all but eliminating Asian IHF title holders, Qatar.
The International Handball Federation’s Men’s World Championship is the 28th edition of the event hosted by the IHF, currently being held in Poland and Sweden from 11 to 29 January 2023. Two-time consecutive World Champions, Denmark won in the 2019 and 2021 editions.
The IHF’s Asian Men’s Championship pits 16 countries against each other and has been won by Qatar five times in a row, but Qatar’s hopes of reaching that far in the World edition were quashed in this round of opening matches.
The Scandinavian side had their eyes on the prize and this win became Norway’s fifth in a row at Poland/Sweden 2023. Qatar had already been eliminated after three losses in the first four matches and were missing their star player Rafael Capote in the squad due to an injury.
Norway started off with a bang, jumping to a 5:0 lead after only seven minutes, with goalkeeper Torbjørn Bergerud outshining everyone else on the court. With an important match against Germany scheduled for Monday, Norway benched their essential players early on, subsequently enabling the Asian champions to come back in the game.
By half-time, Qatar was down by five goals. Wings Sebastian Barthold and Kristian Bjørnsen, secured a 10-goal gap by the 43rd minute against the Scandinavian side.
Qatar lost marginally to Argentina today at 26:22, in the last match of the main round to be played in Katowice, Poland. Norway has not sealed their quarter-finals berth yet and faces Germany.