Croatia Set to Battle for World Handball Gold

By , 10 Jan 2017, 14:37 PM Sport
Croatia Set to Battle for World Handball Gold Source: Croatian Handball Federation

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After the last three large tournaments - World Championship in Qatar 2015, European Championship in Poland and Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 - Croatia won only one medal, a bronze from Poland. The national handball team faces a new challenge: World Championship set for 11 to 29 January in France

Interestingly, Croatian handballers were defeated in both Rio de Janeiro and Doha in quarterfinals by Poland. We played Poland at the last European championship, still remembering the "Krakow miracle," a 37-23 Croatian win in one of the most incredible matches in the history of Croatian sport. That win pushed the team into semi-finals and then a bronze medal, Jutarnji list reported on January 10, 2017.

Croatia has a total of five medals - one gold, three silvers and one bronze. The greatest success was made in 2003 in Portugal where they won the only world gold medal. At that tournament the team opened with a shocking defeat by Argentina, followed by eight wins for a great celebration.

Croatia made it three more times to finals (1995, 2005 and 2009), being defeated every time. In Iceland we lost to France, then years later in Tunisia to Spain and in 2009 in Zagreb to France again. The last medal in world championships for Croatian handballers came in 2013 in Spain where they were third. After losing to Denmark in the semi-finals, they defeated Slovenia.

There are 24 nations competing, 14 of them from Europe. Teams are divided into four groups of six teams. There is no second round of competition, with the four best teams in each group moving on to eighth-finals.

Croatia is in group C with Germany, Belarus, Hungary, Chile and Saudi Arabia. Potential opponents in eighth-finals are Qatar, Denmark, Sweden, Egypt, Bahrain and Argentina.

The championship will be played in eight towns (Paris, Lille, Montpellier, Albertville, Metz, Brest, Rouen), with 650.000 tickets on sale.

For the first time in the history of world championships a video system will be used, "Video Proof System," tested at the women's European championship in Sweden. The system will be used in only two cases: checking if the ball crossed the goal line and if a goal was scored before halftime or the game end.

The best candidates for medals are Olympic champions Denmark, European champions Germany and traditionally Spain and Croatia. Surprises may come from Norway, Iceland, Sweden and Hungary.

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Croatia Traffic Info

  • Due to strong wind passenger traffic is allowed only: -on the A1 motorway between Sveti Rok and Posedarje junctions (detour: DC50/DC27 state roads through Gračac and Obrovac), -on the A6 Rijeka-Zagreb motorway between Kikovica and Delnice (detour: DC3 state road), -on the DC8 Adriatic road from Karlobag to Sveta Marija Magdalena, -on the DC54 Maslenica-Zaton Obrovački state road, -on the DC27 Gračac-Zaton Obrovački state road. On the part of the DC8 Adriatic road Senj-Karlobag there is a traffic ban on: doubledeckers, trailers and motorcycles, from Bakar to Senj on the DC8 and on the A7 motorway between Draga and Šmrika junctions on delivery vans and freight vehicles with covered cargo area too. Due to fog visibility is reduced in the central and eastern parts of Croatia as well as in Gorski kotar mountain area - on the A6 Rijeka-Zagreb motorway between Bosiljevo and Ravna Gora junctions. It is occasionally snowing in the area of Zagreb. The roads are wet and very slippery because of low temperatures, especially bridges and viaducts. Rock and land sliding is possible on the DC8 Adriatic road and on the DC1 state road. Drivers are invited to keep distance, to adjust the speed to road conditions and not to start the journey without the winter equipment. During the day difficulties can be expected in roadwork areas. Until 28 January 8am-3pm traffic is occasionally suspended on the DC8 Adriatic road at Rokića part in Šibenik, detour: Vidici junction-Dumbočica tunnel-Dubrava-Meterize junction. Due to winter driving conditions there is a traffic ban on freight vehicles with trailers and all other vehicles have to use the winter equipment on the following roads of Lika mountain area:-DC42 at Poljanak and on the section Josipdol-Saborsko, -DC218 Užljebić border crossing-Donji Lapac-Dobroselo-Mazin-Bruvno, -ŽC5169 Bjelopolje-Donji Lapac, ŽC5199 Šušanj-Štirovača, ŽC59125 Perušić-Čanak, -regional and local roads in Lika/Senj county, regional and local roads in the area of Perušić and Sveti Rok. Due to roadworks traffic is suspended: -on the DC1 state road in Lučko and Stupnik (Zagreb); -on the DC6 state road, section Glina-Dvor border crossing till 15 March, detour: Glina (DC37)-Petrinja-Hrvatska Kostajnica-Dvor; -on the DC34 Valpovo-Josipovac state road; -on the DC64 state road on the section Kršan-Vozilići, detour: Kršan-Nedešćina-Štrmac; -on the DC206 Valentinovo-Petrovsko state road; -on the DC228 Jurovski Brod-Ozalj-Karlovac state road at Ozalj; -on the DC303 Brajkovići-Kanfanar junction state road till 2 February. Traffic is regulated by traffic signals/one road lane is free only:-on the DC1 state road at Tušilović; -on the DC1 Sinj-Klis Grlo state road at Dicmo; -on the DC8 Adriatic road on the section Kaštel Stari-Kaštel Gomilica, at Podstrana, on the section Zaton Doli-Bistrina, at Srebreno; -on the DC75 Poreč detour road, section Vrvari-Bijela; -on the DC303 Rovinjsko Selo-Brajkovići-Kurili state road. 15 November 2016-15 April 2017 winter equipment is mandatory on the winter sections of the state roads in Croatia (it includes four winter tyres or four summer tyres with chains ready for use).
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  • In the outbound freight traffic there are delays at Pasjak and Bajakovo (the queue is 1 km long). Due to roadworks at Županja and Slavonski Brod border crossings delays can be expected. At Harmica border crossing traffic is allowed for vehicles up to 7,5 tonnes only.
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  • Lopar-Valbiska ferry does not operate. All other ferries operate regularly.
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