The Dutch handball players won the world title for the first time in history on Sunday. The team of national coach Emmanuel Mayonnade was in a nerve-racking final in Japan due to a goal in the final seconds 30-29 too strong for Spain and thereby also won a ticket for next year's Olympic Games.
In the final seconds of the game, it was still 29-29, but the Dutch were awarded a penalty in the final attack. Lois Abbingh remained cool and helped the Netherlands with its seventh goal of the game to the world title, which also made it the top scorer of the tournament.
In the event of a defeat in the final, the Netherlands would have had to play an Olympic qualifying tournament to capture a ticket to the Games, but the Dutch are now saved. Only the world champion qualified directly for the Games.
The handball players also finished on the podium in the last two world championships, but no gold was won. The Orange team lost the Norway final in 2015 and two years ago the Netherlands was too strong for Sweden to compete for bronze. At the European Championships of 2016 (silver) and 2018 (bronze), gold also did not come for Orange.
Both the Netherlands and Spain reached the final in Japan by stunting in the semi-final battle. The Dutch defeated title favorite Russia in a thrilling semi-final match (33-32) and Spain easily put aside world champion Norway (28-22). Russia took the bronze on Sunday by beating Norway in the consolation final.