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, Mbl.is 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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2031 Handball World Championship to Take Place in Iceland

Laugardalur, Reykjavík

The 2031 IHF Men’s World Championship will take place collectively in Iceland, Denmark and Norway, the International Handball Federation (IHF) announced today. The handball games taking place in Iceland should be played at the new National Arena in Laugardalur, Reykjavík, according to a RÚV report. Authorities have already announced that the long-awaited arena should be up and running by 2031.

Small nation success

Iceland submitted the joint application with Denmark and Norway this time, but hosted the games alone in 1995. “This joint effort will not only elevate handball in Iceland, but also show and prove that small nations can organise major sporting events through strong international cooperation,” said Guðmundur B. Ólafsson, president of the Icelandic Handball Association.

Popular sport in Iceland

Handball is a popular sport in Iceland. The women’s national team competed in the World Championship last year and have qualified for this year’s European Championship, a tournament they also qualified for in 2010 and 2012. The men’s national team has also historically been competitive on the international stage, winning a silver medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in China.

The IHF also announced today that the 2029 IHF Men’s World Championship would take place in France and Germany, with the 2029 IHF Women’s World Championship set in Spain and the 2031 edition in Czechia and Poland.

Iceland Leaves 2023 Handball Championship with a Victory

iceland handball

The Iceland Men’s National Handball team went out in style yesterday with a 41-37 victory over Brazil.

Unfortunately, Iceland will not be moving past Group II, where it won a place after its initial seeding into Group D.

Iceland will be leaving this world championship with a total of three victories and two losses, and a total goal difference of +11.

Brazil led the way in the first half of the final match, with the score standing at 22-18 at halftime. However, the Icelanders managed to make up the difference in the final 10 minutes of the game, with Bjarki Már, Janus Daði, and Kristján Örn leading in goals.

In an interview with RÚV, Icelandic Men’s Nation coach Guðmundur Guðmundsson said: “We took a good long look at how we were doing and had to really zero in on the goal and make a comeback with that old Icelandic pride. […] The second half will be remembered for a long time since we won it 23-15. It was really just fantastically well played.”

National Handball Team Advances to Euro Main Round

Iceland Advances to Main Group

The Icelandic National Handball Team advanced to the main round of the 2020 EHF European Men’s Handball Championship yesterday. Iceland beat Russia 34:23 and sits atop Group E with four points.

The Icelandic National Handball Team played its second match of the EHF European Men’s Handball Championship against Russia yesterday. Iceland had the upper hand for the entire game, enjoying a seven-goal lead during half time. The team played well during the second half, beating the Russians by 11 goals. The final score was 34:23. As Iceland won its opening match against Denmark on Saturday, the team has secured four points after two rounds.

Shortly after Iceland’s match against Russia, Olympic Champions Denmark faced off against Hungary – desperately needing a win; Denmark had zero points after a first-round loss against Iceland. Hungary, on the other hand, had secured two points following a narrow win against Russia. Securing an early advantage, Hungary maintained their lead for almost the entire match. With only a few minutes remaining of the game, the Hungarians were leading by two goals (23:21). The Danes mustered a comeback, scoring three goals in quick succession (23:24). In the final moments of the game, Hungarian Zoltan Szita equalised. Danish captain Mikkel Hansen had the opportunity of securing a Danish win, but goalkeeper Roland Mikler rebuffed his attempt. Final score 24:24.

Denmark’s loss means that Iceland sits atop Group E with four points, Hungary has three points, Denmark has one point and Russia zero points. Iceland is, therefore, the only team in Group E that has advanced to the main round.

The final round of the group stages will take place next Wednesday, January 15.

Iceland Beats Denmark in European Handball Championships

European Handball Championships Iceland 2020

Icelanders rejoiced last Saturday as the National Handball Team beat Denmark in their first 2020 European Championships match in Malmö, Sweden. As 2016 Olympic champions, Denmark was the clear favourite going into the match, but what made the victory even sweeter was that Iceland’s coach, Guðmundur Guðmundsson, is the one who coached Denmark to that Olympic win.

The teams were neck and neck throughout the match. While Denmark appeared to have a slight advantage in the first half, the second half started 15-15. With 92 seconds to go, Icelandic captain Guðjón Valur Sigurðsson secured a two-goal lead of 31-29. The Danes nevertheless brought that score to 31-30 – and had a chance to equalise with a penalty throw at the very end of the match. The throw was saved by Icelandic veteran goalkeeper Björgvin Páll Gústavsson, giving Iceland the win with a final score of 31-30.

The Icelandic team plays Russia this afternoon at 5.15pm.