Successor Switzerland scored a groundbreaking victory at the Handball World Cup in Egypt just a few hours after his arrival. Against their neighbor Austria, the Swiss won their first World Cup game in 25 years on Thursday 28:25 (13:13). Playmaker Andy Schmid from Bundesliga club Rhein-Neckar Löwen was the best thrower with seven goals.
The team moved up to the World Cup field as the second team just one day before the start of the World Cup on Tuesday evening due to numerous corona cases in the USA.
Before the United States, the Czech Republic had to withdraw its participation due to numerous COVID-19 diseases and was replaced by North Macedonia. In the preliminary round group E, the Swiss will meet fellow favorites Norway and record title holder France, who will compete against each other from 8.30 p.m. in the evening.
Former world champions Russia, on the other hand, missed an opening win. The team, which is only allowed to compete under the name “RHF” (Russian Handball Federation) due to the doping ruling of the CAS Sports Court, did not get more than 32:32 (15:15) against Belarus in Group H. According to the ruling, Russian athletes have to forego the national flag, anthem and coat of arms at major sporting events.
The handball players, who are looked after by ex-Füchse trainer Velimir Petkovic, are the first Russian national team to compete in a major sporting event since the CAS judgment.
In Group H, besides the Russians and Belarus, Slovenia and South Korea also play, whose encounter the Slovenes clearly won with 51:29 (25:16). Germany will meet Uruguay in Group A on Friday (6 p.m.), followed by matches with Cape Verde on Sunday (6 p.m.) and Hungary on Tuesday (8.30 p.m.).