REVIEW: Very little has been decided yet, as all teams have played three group matches at the Olympic handball tournaments for men and women at Rio 2016
France and Russia already through to Olympic quarter-finals
It is "half-time" in the group phase of the Olympic men's and women's handball tournaments at Rio 2016. All teams have played three games in the group phase, at least two more are to play for each of them.
While there is very little decided yet in the grand scheme of things, the first two teams have already qualified for the quarter-finals: Russia in the women's event and defending men's champions France will definitely be among the last eight.
In Group B, Russia secured their third consecutive win in the competition when they beat Sweden 36:34 on Wednesday. They had previously beaten Korea 30:25 and France 26:25.
Russia with six points are trailed by France and Sweden with four points each and by the Netherlands who have three points on their tally. Fifth-ranked Korea have one point, Argentina none.
Nothing is decided at all in Group A of the women's event in which Brazil, defending champions Norway, Spain and Angola all have four points each. Romania have two, while EHF EURO 2012 winners Montenegro are on the brink of elimination as they have not secured a point yet.
The first four teams of each group qualify for the quarter-final. The women's event continues on Friday.
Just like Russia, France's men's team also won their first three matches to secure their place at the quarter-finals early on. They started with a 25:23 win against Tunisia in Group A, followed by a demonstration of force when they beat Qatar 35:20. They then won their third match 31:24 against Argentina.
Likely to follow them to the quarter-finals from Group A are Denmark, Croatia - who are both on four points - and Qatar who currently have three points. Tunisia and Argentina will strruggle to proceed.
Slovenia also started their Olympic campaign with three wins in a row in Group B. However, there is a very small chance that five teams in this group will end up on six points, meaning that Slovenia need one more point to secure the quarter-final ticket.
EHF EURO 2016 champions Germany lost their first match when they went down 33:30 against Brazil. Still waiting for their first point in this competition are Sweden.
The men's competition continues on Saturday.
The quarter-finals will be played on 16 August (women's event) and 17 August (men's event). The semi-finals take place on 18 and 19 August, the women's final on 20 August, the men's final on 21 August.
Photo: Stephane Pillaud / IHF
TEXT: EHF / ts
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