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DENMARK RETAIN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE

Denmark became world champions for the second time in January 2021, raising the Men’s IHF World Championship trophy in Cairo after an intense campaign.

After a hard-earned but well-deserved 26:24 victory in the all-Scandinavian final against Sweden, Denmark took their second gold medal on the global stage. They became only the third country in the last 50 years to successfully defend a world title, after Romania did it in 1974 and France in 2011 and 2017.

Denmark played the final four times in the past 10 years but lost their first two efforts against France (in 2011) and Spain (2013).

They extended their winning streak at World Championships to 19 matches – a record. Winning each match since their Last 16 defeat to Hungary in 2017, Denmark passed the previous best mark of 18 straight wins, set by France between 2015 and 2019.

“We made history,” Denmark head coach Nikolaj Jacobsen said.

Denmark’s key player was once again Mikkel Hansen, who was named MVP, an honour he also received at the World Championships in 2013 and 2019.

Sweden appeared in their first final since 2001, when they lost to France, and came close to their fifth title as Denmark could not cast them off easily. Sweden will co-host the next world championship with Poland in 2023.

Two-time EHF EURO champions Spain finished third, beating record the reigning champions France 35:29 in the bronze medal match.

The first six positions in the final ranking were occupied by European teams, ahead of hosts Egypt, and Qatar. Qatari left back Frankis Carol was the event’s top scorer, with 58 goals.

The All-star Team was also filled with European players, including three Swedes, three Danes, Spain’s right wing Ferran Sole and French line player Ludovic Fabregas.