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Handball WM 2017: Präsident Francois Hollande und Didier Dinart zum Frankreich-Sieg

IHF-Präsident Dr. Hassan Moustafa und Frankreichs Staats-Präsident Francois Hollande (mi.) – Handball WM 2017: Präsident Francois Hollande und Didier Dinart zum Frankreich-Sieg – Foto: France Handball

Handball WM 2017 Frankreich: DJ Feder opens France 2017

The first of 84 matches of the 2017 Men’s IHF Handball World Championship was fittingly introduced with a stylish show in which DJ Feder took centre stage to perform the official song for France 2017 “Lordly”. From there the Nice-born DJ performed a plethora of his own trust beats with splashes of current hits thrown in for good measure.

12.01.2017 – France Handball / SPORT4FINAL / Frank Zepp:

With French President, Francois Hollande, in attendance, the AccorHotel Arena and handball fans set a new record for French handball this evening with the biggest attendance for a handball game ever recorded in the country. The final count left amazingly only one seat free at 15,609 fans cheering on this opening Group A tie. This record beats the previous record of 14,894 set at the 2001 World Championship Final when France beat Sweden in overtime to take gold.

‘Les Experts’ do justice to their name in opener

Some saw this as a direct rematch of the quarter-final of the Olympic Games 2016 in Rio, with Brazil hosts losing to 34:27 to ‘Les Experts’. This time, we saw roles reversed and the French taking on the role of hosts, but the end result was the same.

After bursting out of the gates early in the first, France took full control of the tie with Omeyer pulling off vintage save after save (67 per cent after 30 mins) and the middle block of the Karabatic brother’s made life extremely difficult for the Brazilian’s backcourt. After 30 minutes the Le Bleu went into dressing rooms 17:7 up; Valentin Porte had a 100 per cent scoring ratio with five goals.

With the second half being almost a carbon copy of the first, it wasn’t a game for the handball neutral. Brazil’s lacklustre attacks just added fuel to the French’s flames as now Vincent Gerard (man of the match) was mimicking Omeyer’s first half antics. The likes of Nyokas and Dipanda now had space to punish Brazil’s tired legs, with both men netting three each in the second 30 minutes.

This result leaves France momentarily on top of the group ahead of tomorrow’s (12 January) remaining Group A ties (RUS vs JPN (17:45) & POL vs NOR (20:45 CET)). Brazil now could find themselves under pressure when they face Poland on 14 January.

Behind the scenes

French President, Francois Hollande, spoke after the match: “Everything was perfect: a large audience and a great victory for France. This place has always been a warm one. And today I’ve seen real determination to succeed and make this 25th IHF Handball World Championship a great event. I’m very proud of it because it shows that France is able to organise big events. We’ve already proven it during the last UEFA Euro, the COP21, and now with this World Championship. That’s an encouraging sign when we think about Paris 2024, but let’s think about winning here first, then we’ll talk again about Paris 2024.”

Co-head coach of France, Didier Dinart: “It was a dream start, we prepared for three weeks to be here today, the players were committed to begin well. Our last match against Brazil was very tough. A positive was the turnovers, i.e. scoring goals without burning off our physical reserves. The atmosphere inside the arena was great, our goal is to come back here in the best condition, but it will be a long hard road.”

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