IHF World Men's Handball Championship

The World Men's Handball Championship has been organized indoor by the International Handball Federation since 1938.

IHF World Men's Handball Championship
Current season, competition or edition:
2021 World Men's Handball Championship
SportHandball
Founded1938
FounderInternational Amateur Handball Federation
Inaugural season1938
No. of teams24
ContinentInternational (IHF)
Most recent
champion(s)
 Denmark (1st title)
Most titles France (6 titles)

In the twenty-six tournaments held, eleven different nations have won the title. France is the most successful team with six titles, followed by Sweden and Romania with four titles each.

Denmark is the current champion after winning its maiden title in 2019. The next tournament will be held in Egypt in 2021.

History

The first indoor championship took place in Germany in 1938, involving four teams from Europe made up of 7 players who competed in a round robin stage to find a winner. It wouldn't be until sixteen years later where the second World Championship was held in the country of Sweden. Throughout their history, the World Championships has been dominated by European teams, with no medals being won by non-European countries until 2015, by Qatar. Over the years, the organization of the World Championships has changed. Initially, there were group games in both the preliminary and main rounds, but more recently a knockout system has been applied after the preliminary round.

Tournaments

Year Host Final 3rd place match Teams
Champions Score Runners-up 3rd place Score 4th place
1938
Details

Germany

Germany
Round-robin
Austria

Sweden
Round-robin
Denmark
4
1954
Details

Sweden

Sweden
17–14
Germany1

Czechoslovakia
24–11
Switzerland
6
1958
Details

East Germany

Sweden
22–12
Czechoslovakia

Germany1
16–13
Denmark
16
1961
Details

West Germany

Romania
9–8 (2ET)
Czechoslovakia

Sweden
17–14
Germany1
12
1964
Details

Czechoslovakia

Romania
25–22
Sweden

Czechoslovakia
22–15
West Germany
16
1967
Details

Sweden

Czechoslovakia
14–11
Denmark

Romania
21–19 (ET)
Soviet Union
16
1970
Details

France

Romania
13–12 (2ET)
East Germany

Yugoslavia
29–12
Denmark
16
1974
Details

East Germany

Romania
14–12
East Germany

Yugoslavia
18–16
Poland
16
1978
Details

Denmark

West Germany
20–19
Soviet Union

East Germany
19–15
Denmark
16
1982
Details

West Germany

Soviet Union
30–27 (ET)
Yugoslavia

Poland
23–22
Denmark
16
1986
Details

Switzerland

Yugoslavia
24–22
Hungary

East Germany
24–23
Sweden
16
1990
Details

Czechoslovakia

Sweden
27–23
Soviet Union

Romania
27–21
Yugoslavia
16
1993
Details

Sweden

Russia
28–19
France

Sweden
26–19
Switzerland
16
1995
Details

Iceland

France
23–19
Croatia

Sweden
26–20
Germany
24
1997
Details

Japan

Russia
23–21
Sweden

France
28–27
Hungary
24
1999
Details

Egypt

Sweden
25–24
Russia

Yugoslavia
27–24
Spain
24
2001
Details

France

France
28–25 (ET)
Sweden

Yugoslavia
27–17
Egypt
24
2003
Details

Portugal

Croatia
34–31
Germany

France
27–22
Spain
24
2005
Details

Tunisia

Spain
40–34
Croatia

France
26–25
Tunisia
24
2007
Details

Germany

Germany
29–24
Poland

Denmark
34–27
France
24
2009
Details

Croatia

France
24–19
Croatia

Poland
31–23
Denmark
24
2011
Details

Sweden

France
37–35 (ET)
Denmark

Spain
24–23
Sweden
24
2013
Details

Spain

Spain
35–19
Denmark

Croatia
31–26
Slovenia
24
2015
Details

Qatar

France
25–22
Qatar

Poland
29–28 (ET)
Spain
24
2017
Details

France

France
33–26
Norway

Slovenia
31–30
Croatia
24
2019
Details

Denmark / Germany

Denmark
31–22
Norway

France
26–25
Germany
24
2021
Details

Egypt
32
2023
Details

Poland / Sweden
32
  • 1: Germany sent a united team composed of players from the GDR and the FRG.

Medal count

RankNationGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1 France61411
2 Sweden43411
3 Romania4026
4 Germany2215
5 Russia2103
6 Spain2013
7 Croatia1315
 Denmark1315
9 Czechoslovakia1225
10 Soviet Union1203
11 Yugoslavia1124
12 West Germany1001
13 East Germany0224
14 Norway0202
15 Poland0134
16 Austria0101
 Hungary0101
 Qatar0101
19 Yugoslavia0022
20 Slovenia0011
Totals (20 nations)26262678

Statistics

List of hosts

List of hosts by number of championships hosted.

Times
hosted
Host Year(s)
7 Germany (including East and West Germany)1938, 1958, 1961, 1974, 1982, 2007, 2019
5 Sweden1954, 1967, 1993, 2011, (2023)
3 France1970, 2001, 2017
2 Czechoslovakia1964, 1990
2 Denmark1978, 2019
2 Egypt1999, (2021)
1 Croatia2009
1 Iceland1995
1 Japan1997
1 Poland(2023)
1 Portugal2003
1 Qatar2015
1 Spain2013
1  Switzerland1986
1 Tunisia2005

All-time table for champions

As of 2019

TeamParticipations PldWDL TitlesTop 4
 Croatia13 10476424 16
 Czechoslovakia12 7241724 15
 Denmark24 15599651 111
 France24 160106648 612
 Germany (including West Germany)
+  East Germany
24 143
+45
104
+23
12
+6
37
+16
310
+4
 Romania14 8351428 46
 Russia13 10766833 23
 Russia (including  Soviet Union) 21 1581011047 37
 Spain20 146100739 26
 Sweden24 169116449 413
 Yugoslavia10 9257728 15

Draws include knockout matches decided in a penalty shootout.

Most successful players

Boldface denotes active handball players and highest medal count among all players (including these who not included in these tables) per type.

Multiple gold medalists

The table shows those who have won at least 3 gold medals at the World Championships.

Rank Player Country From To Gold Silver Bronze Total
1Thierry Omeyer France20012017527
2Jérôme Fernandez France20012015426
Michaël Guigou France20052019426
Nikola Karabatić France20052019426
Daniel Narcisse France20012017426
6Cédric Sorhaindo France20092019415
7Cornel Oțelea Romania195919703* 1 *1* 5 *
8Didier Dinart France20012011325
9Luc Abalo France20092019314
10William Accambray France2011201733
Xavier Barachet France2011201733
Guillaume Joli France2011201733

* including one medal won at the 1959 World Outdoor Field Handball Championship

Multiple medalists

The table shows those who have won at least 6 medals in total at the World Championships.

Rank Player Country From To Gold Silver Bronze Total
1Thierry Omeyer France20012017527
2Jérôme Fernandez France20012015426
Michaël Guigou France20052019426
Nikola Karabatić France20052019426
Daniel Narcisse France20012017426
6Magnus Andersson Sweden199020012226
Ola Lindgren Sweden199020012226
Magnus Wislander Sweden199020012226
9Jackson Richardson France199320052136

National team appearances in the IHF World Championship

Comprehensive team results by tournament

Legend
  • 1st – Champions
  • 2nd – Runners-up
  • 3rd – Third place
  • 4th – Fourth place
  • 5th – Fifth place
  • 6th – Sixth place
  • 7th – Seventh place
  • 8th – Eighth place
  • 9th – Ninth place
  • 10th – Tenth place
  • 11th – Eleventh place
  • 12th to 24th – Twelfth to twenty-fourth place
  • Q — Qualified for upcoming tournament
  •  ••  — Qualified but withdrew
  •    — Did not qualify
  •  ×  — Did not enter / Withdrew from the World Championship / Banned
  •    — Hosts
Team
1938
(4)

1954

(6)

1958

(16)

1961

(12)

1964

(16)

1967

(16)

1970

(16)

1974

(16)

1978

(16)

1982

(16)

1986

(16)

1990

(16)

1993

(16)

1995

(24)

1997

(24)

1999

(24)

2001

(24)

2003

(24)

2005

(24)

2007

(24)

2009

(24)

2011

(24)

2013

(24)

2015

(24)

2017

(24)
,
2019

(24)

2021

(32)
,
2023

(32)

2025

(32)

2027

(32)
Total
 AlgeriaPart of  France15th16th16th16th16th17th15th13th18th17th19th15th17th24th14
 AngolaPart of  Portugal20th21st24th23rd4
 Argentina22nd21st15th17th18th16th18th12th18th12th18th17th12
 Australia24th21st24th24th24th24th24th7
 Austria2nd11th14th18th13th19th6
 Bahrain23rd23rd20th3
 BelarusPart of  Soviet Union9th15th18th11th4
 Bosnia and HerzegovinaPart of  Yugoslavia20th1
 Brazil15th24th24th16th19th22nd19th19th21st21st13th16th16th9th14
 Bulgaria11th14th2
 Canada16th15th23rd3
 Chile22nd23rd23rd21st16th5
 China20th20th2
 CroatiaPart of  Yugoslavia2nd13th10th9th1st2nd5th2nd5th3rd6th4th6th13
 Cuba13th15th14th13th14th8th20th7
 Czech RepublicSee  Czechoslovakia8th11th18th10th12th17th6
 Denmark4th5th4th5th7th2nd4th8th4th4th8th9th19th9th9th13th3rd4th2nd2nd5th10th1stQ24
 Egypt14th12th6th6th7th4th15th14th17th14th14th16th14th13th8thQ15
 Finland14th1
 France6th9th8th13th10th12th16th9th2nd1st3rd6th1st3rd3rd4th1st1st6th1st1st3rdQQ24
 Germany
(including West Germany)
1st2nd3rd4th4th6th5th9th1st7th7th6th4th5th8th2nd9th1st5th11th5th7th9th4th24
 Greece6th1
 Greenland20th24th22nd3
 Hungary7th8th8th8th7th9th9th2nd6th11th17th4th11th6th9th6th7th8th7th10th20
 Iceland10th6th9th11th14th13th6th10th8th14th5th11th7th15th8th6th12th11th14th11th20
 Iran21st1
 Italy18th1
 Japan12th16th11th10th12th12th14th15th23rd15th16th16th22nd24th14
 KoreaSee  North Korea and  South Korea22nd1
 Kuwait15th20th19th23rd20th22nd19th22nd8
 LithuaniaPart of  Soviet Union10th1
 Luxembourg16th1
 MacedoniaPart of  Yugoslavia18th11th14th9th15th15th6
 MontenegroPart of  YugoslaviaPart of  Serbia and Montenegro22nd1
 Morocco / 22nd23rd17th22nd23rd20th6
 Netherlands11th1
 Nigeria23rd1
 Norway6th7th11th13th13th13th12th13th14th7th13th9th9th2nd2nd15
 Poland5th12th14th4th6th3rd14th11th10th2nd3rd8th9th3rd17thQ16
 Portugal19th16th12th3
 Qatar16th21st23rd20th2nd8th13th7
 Romania13th1st1st3rd1st1st7th5th9th3rd10th10th15th19th14
 RussiaSee  Soviet Union1st5th1st2nd6th5th8th6th16th7th19th12th14th13
 Saudi Arabia21st22nd21st10th23rd19th22nd20th21st9
 SerbiaPart of  YugoslaviaPart of  Serbia and Montenegro8th10th10th18th4
 SlovakiaPart of  Czechoslovakia10th17th2
 SloveniaPart of  Yugoslavia18th17th11th12th10th4th8th3rd8
 Spain12th13th10th8th5th5th5th11th7th4th5th4th1st7th13th3rd1st4th5th7th20
 Sweden3rd1st1st3rd2nd5th6th10th8th11th4th1st3rd3rd2nd1st2nd13th11th7th4th10th6th5thQ25
  Switzerland4th10th12th14th15th12th11th13th4th7th10
 Tunisia France15th15th16th12th10th14th4th11th17th20th11th15th19th12th14
 UkrainePart of  Soviet Union7th14th2
 United States15th16th16th16th21st24thQQ8
Discontinued teams
 Czechoslovakia3rd2nd2nd3rd1st7th6th11th10th13th7th7thSee  Czech Republic12
 East Germany10th9th2nd2nd3rd6th3rd8thSee  Germany8
 Serbia and MontenegroPart of  Yugoslavia9th3rd3rd8th5thSee  Serbia and  Montenegro5
 Soviet Union5th4th9th5th2nd1st10th2ndSee  Russia8
 South Korea12th12th15th12th8th14th12th15th12th13th21stSee  Korea11
 Yugoslavia8th9th6th7th3rd3rd5th2nd1st4th10

See also

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