2023 World Men’s Handball Championship: Denmark wins third consecutive championship

2023 World Men's Handball Championship: Denmark wins third consecutive championship

Denmark beat France in the final of the 2023 World Men’s Handball Championship in Stockholm (Sweden) on Sunday (January 29) to become consecutive three-time world champions.

Rasmus Lauge scored 10 goals from 11 shots, with Simon Pytlick hitting the net nine times, in a 34-29 victory in a rematch of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic final . Nedim Remili was France’s star with six goals.

The Danes had already secured an automatic berth at Paris 2024 with Games host France reaching the final. In the game that won the title, they resisted a strong French team in both periods in order to retain the title.

Denmark wins in rematch of the Olympic final in Tokyo

Denmark opened up an early 2-0 lead, with Niklas Landin making some good saves from Dylan Nahi and Ludovic Fabregas , before Pytlick scored his second to make it 3-0.

Dika Mem put France into the match, but the Olympic champions lacked fluency in attack and coach Guillaume Gille called time out, with his team trailing 6-2 in less than seven minutes.

The Danish defence, ably managed by 38-year-old Henrik Møllgaard , did not concede goals for free. But the French managed to close the gap to one late in the first half thanks to Remili’s fourth goal as the title holders went almost five minutes without scoring.

Pytlick ended that hiatus with his sixth goal of the game, but Remili scored again to leave France behind by just one goal at halftime (16-15).

Mem equalized for France early in the second half. However, despite Mikkel Hansen – three times named player of the match at the World Championships – being handed a seven-metre penalty, Denmark managed to stay ahead, mainly due to the good form of Pytlick, Mathias Gidsel and Lauge .

Kevin Møller replaced Landin in goal and quickly prevented Kentin Mahe from getting France back into the game with the Danes down to six men. Pytlick then received a two-minute suspension for an infringement on Valentin Porte , . The French, however, were unable to regain equality despite their numerical advantage.

Two quick long-range shots from Mads Mensah Larsen extended Denmark’s gap to three with 10 minutes to go, and Lauge’s well-timed strikes, coupled with smart saves from Møller, took Denmark closer to three.

Mem’s (FRA) fifth goal in seven attempts cut the deficit to two with three minutes to go, but Pytlick’s powerful shot gave Denmark room to breathe before Landin’s save from seven yards from Melvyn Richardson sealed the victory.

The three times best player in the world, Nikola Karabatic had limited court time and failed to score on his only attempt.

Spain takes third place

There was disappointment for the home crowd as Sweden lost 39-36 to Spain in the bronze medal match.

It was a fine comeback for ‘Los Hispanos’, who trailed by four goals at half-time, but scored six unanswered early in the second half to put them on course for third place for the second time in a row at a World Championship.

Adrian Figueras scored nine times while Alex Dujshebaev had seven.

For defending European champions Sweden, who were again without defender Jim Gottfridsson , wingers Hampus Wanne and Niclas Ekberg scored nine and seven goals respectively.

2023 World Men’s Handball Championship results:

January 29, Stockholm (Sweden)

Bronze medal match

Sweden 36 v 39 Spain

Gold medal match

France 29 x 34 Denmark


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