The World Women’s Handball Championship is the world championship of the sport handball organized by the International Handball Federation and held since 1957. It is currently staged every two years on odd years.
The 2019 World Handball Championship for women is the 24th such event and will be staged in Japan from November 30 to December 15, 2019. A total of 24 teams from 5 confederations will vie for the title in the tournament which will be held in five host cities across the Land of the Rising Sun.
The teams are divided into four groups of six during the group stage. The Top 3 teams per group advance to the Main round where only a dozen teams remain. The top 3 teams from Groups A and B are grouped together while the Top 3 teams from Groups Cand D are also grouped as one. Group A teams only play the B teams in the main round and vice versa. The same happens on the other group with C only playing D teams and vice versa as well.
The Top two teams from each group will move on to the knockout semifinals and the winners of the semifinals will play for the title on December 15, 2019, at the Park Dome Kumamoto in Nishi-Ku, Japan.
Russia has won this event more than any other team at four times. Norway has three victories and a total of 10 medals in this event which is the most number of medals won by any team. The former Soviet Union and East Germany have three titles each while France has two.
The French are the defending World Champions in women’s handball after knocking off Norway in 2017. The two teams are the top handball betting favorites to win this year’s tournament.
Here are the odds to win the 2019 World Handball Championship. Odds were taken from TitanBet as of 7/10/19:
Who Are The Favorites?
Norway‘s women’s handball team is considered as one of the best women’s handball teams ever and they are the top handball betting favorites in this tournament. As of 2017, they have reached the finals in 21 international handball tournaments. The Norway women’s national handball team is the only handball team, male or female, to win the European championship four straight times. When it comes to the World Handball Championship, Norway has won a total of three titles and they have won two out of the last four World Cups. Norway won in 2015 but was defeated in the finals by France 21-23.
France won the last edition of the World Handball Championship held in Germany in 2017. The victory was the second world title for the French and they have finished at least second in three out of the last five editions of the World Handball Championship. The 2016 Olympic silver medalists are led by 2017 word championship All-Star team member Grace Zaadi and 2018 European championship All-Star goalkeeper Amandine Leynaud.
Russia has the most victories in the World Handball Championship with a total of four. The Russians won their four titles over a span of five world championships from 2001 to 2009. In the first four world championships this decade, Russia has not had a podium finish. They finished 5th in 2017 and 2015 but after a second place finish at the 2018 European Championship, they hope to carry the momentum here and regain the world title. The Russians are led by 2016 Olympics and 2018 European Championship MVP Anna Vyakhireva who is only 24 years old.
The Netherlands has participated in a total of 11 world championships. And after finishing no higher than 5th in their first nine appearances, this team is coming off back-to-back podium finishes. The Dutch placed 3rd in 2017 and they were also 3rd in the 2018 European Championships. They are led by their all-time leading scorer Laura van der Hejiden who has a total of 605 goals scored. Frenchman Emmanuel Mayonnade took over as head coach of the team last January.
Romania is the most consistent women’s team in World Handball Championship history as they have qualified for all the world championships so far as of 2019. Romania is also a three-time World Champion but the last time they won a title was in 1962. The Romanians only have two podium finishes since the turn of the millennium. Their best finish this century was 2nd place in 2005. They were also 3rd in 2015 but only 10th in the last World Championship. They are led by 2018 European All-Star team member Crina Pintea.
The Norway women’s national handball team has dominated the sport in the early part of the decade. However, we’ve seen them slip in the last couple of years. They lost to France in the final of the 2017 World Handball Championship and then last year, they failed to make the final of the 2018 European Handball Championship. That was the first time in 18 years that we didn’t see Norway win any medal in the Euro tournament.
In the 2018 European Championship, Norway’s “handball girls” suffered first-round losses to Germany and Romania that left them out of medal contention. However, they were able to salvage 5th place by defeating Sweden in the Fifth place game.
While Norway has sputtered in the last couple of years, the French women’s handball team has been on a terrific roll. The French won the silver at the 2016 Rio Olympics then defeated Norway in the final of the 2017 World Handball Championship before reasserting their rule with a gold medal finish at the 2018 European Handball Championship.
I still believe that Norway is a powerhouse but I think that France is on the rise and only getting better. Prediction: France