The Icelandic national teams in men’s and women’s handball demonstrated great success last weekend. The women qualified for the World Championship in Brazil, which will take place in December this year, and the men for the European Championship in Serbia January 15-29, 2012.
Icelandic goalkeeper Björgvin Páll Gústavsson giving autographs after winning the European bronze in 2010. Photo by Geir Ólafsson.
Chairman of the Handball Association of Iceland Knútur G. Hauksson told Morgunbladid that this is great news. “This is a fantastic achievement. The boys demonstrated their stability by qualifying for almost every single major tournament and the girls are gaining strength. […] It has taken many years and has required extensive work.”
The defensive play was solid and Björgvin Páll Gústavsson demonstrated world-class goalkeeping. Iceland was determined to win from the very first minutes of the game.
Germany will enter the main competition along with Iceland but Austria and Latvia were left behind.
Meanwhile, the women’s team qualified for the World Championship with a 24-24 draw in its game against Ukraine in Uzhhorod on Sunday, mbl.is reports.
Iceland won the first game against Ukraine 37-18, leading by 19 goals after two games, and so a draw was enough to qualify.
This is an historic event because it is the first time that an Icelandic national women’s team in a group sport has secured a seat in a world championship.