France set to defend European title

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France set to defend European title

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The 10th edition of the European handball championships kicked off on Sunday in Belgrade.

Although six games are scheduled for the opening day all eyes will be on defending champions France who have dominated the sport over the past few years and begin their group C campaign on Monday against Spain.

France coach Claude Onesta told Euronews the secret to his side’s Olympic, World and European championship success.

Onesta said: “I think we have managed to find a clever balance between the players’ talent and the way the team works. We are able to mix extraordinary players and make them work together. The final result is an extraordinary team. We train two hours per day and we live fifteen hours together. There are no players who can be performant for two hours and then stupid for fifteen hours.”

Competing against France and Spain in group C are Russia and Hungary with their games to be played in Novi Sad, while Croatia, runners up last time out in Austria have been drawn in group D alongside Slovenia, Norway and Iceland.

The tournament ends on 29 January.