Iceland Men’s National Handball Team Qualifies for World Championship

Iceland crowd

Iceland Men’s National Handball Team beat Estonia today to qualify for the 2025 IHF Men’s World Championship. The tournament will take place in Croatia, Denmark, and Norway in January and February next year.

Overwhelming victory over two matches

The match against Estonia took place in Tallinn earlier today and Iceland defeated their opponent handily, reports. The final score was 37-24, but the match was closely fought early on. Iceland started to pull away at the end of the first half. By the second half, Iceland secured a stronger lead and were ahead by 12 goals when 10 minutes were left in the game.

Orri Freyr Þorkelsson scored 9 goals for Iceland, Ómar Ingi Magnússon scored 7 and Óðinn Þór Ríkharðsson six.

Iceland had already beat Estonia 50-25 at home in their first match, giving them a healthy cushion for this second match. The aggregate score was 87-49.

2031 tournament in Iceland

Handball is a popular sport in Iceland and the men’s national team has historically been competitive, winning the silver medal at the 2008 Olympics in China. The women’s national team competed in the World Championship last year and have qualified for this year’s European Championship.

Qualifying for next year’s tournament comes in the wake of the announcement that Iceland will host the 2031 World Championship along with Denmark and Norway. A new National Arena is planned to open in Reykjavík to host the tournament games.

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Halla Tómasdóttir Gains Steam

Halla Tómasdóttir, candidate for president of Iceland

Halla Hrund Logadóttir and Katrín Jakobsdóttir are neck and neck in the race for president of Iceland, according to the latest poll by Gallup. Halla Tómasdóttir, who had been polling below 5% jumps to 11%, RÚV reports.

Baldur in third place

The polling followed a televised debate on 3 May. Halla Hrund, the Director General of Iceland’s National Energy Authority drops in the poll from 36% down to 25% as Katrín, the former prime minister and chairperson of the Left-Green Movement, rises from 23% to 25%.

Baldur Þórhallsson, a professor of political science at the University of Iceland, is firmly in third place with 18%, while Halla Tómasdóttir, a businessperson and former candidate, eclipses Jón Gnarr, a comedian and former mayor of Reykjavík, who is polling at 10%. Other candidates are polling at lower numbers, but Arnar Þór Jónsson, a lawyer and former judge, has reached 6%.

Difference by age and gender

When the polling is broken down by age, gender, education and political views, it becomes clear that Halla Hrund is popular among men, while Baldur is popular among women. Older people are more likely to support Katrín or Halla Hrund, while younger people favour Baldur and Jón.

The election will take place in one round on 1 June.

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Next Eruption Weeks From Now, Experts Suspect

Art Bicnick. The 2024 Sundhnúksgígaröð eruption

Magma keeps building up under the Svartsengi area in the Reykjanes peninsula. The Icelandic Meteorological Office expects that the next volcanic eruption in Reykjanes could take place some weeks from now, Vísir reports.

The latest eruption in Sundhnúkagígar ended Thursday morning after 54 days. Magma is still building up in the area, however, and a new magma intrusion and a volcanic eruption are still likely. An eruption could begin at a moment’s notice.

Evacuations possible

The nearby Svartsengi area contains a geothermal plant, the spa destination Blue Lagoon, and numerous hotels. The area has been evacuated regularly due to the Sundhnúkagígar eruptions,.

“There is a lot of magma there right now,” said Kristín Jónsdóttir with the Met Office. She added that an evacuation of the nearby town of Grindavík could come to pass, an opinion which has been shared by Director of Civil Protection Víðir Reynisson.

More pressure needed

“We’re faced with the same situation as we’ve seen before between eruptions,” Kristín added. “We have a considerable amount of magma under Svartsengi, which keeps accumulating. We also know that more and more pressure is needed to kickstart the next magma intrusion.”

Seismic activity has also increased since the latest eruption ended. Kristín’s conclusion is that it could take some weeks until the next eruption.

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