Record champion France started the Handball World Championship with a difficult work victory.

The six-time title holder prevailed in Wednesday's opening game against co-hosts Poland by 26:24 (14:13).

Other rivals in Group B are Slovenia and Saudi Arabia.

The best thrower for the winner was Dika Mem from Champions League winner FC Barcelona with six goals.

The German team only intervenes in the tournament on Friday against Asian champions Qatar.

Other preliminary round opponents of the DHB selection are Serbia and Algeria.

Driven by the loud fans in the packed Spodek Arena in Katowice, the Poles stood up to the favorites from the start and were not impressed by a four-goal deficit at 8:12 after a good 20 minutes.

The team, which was made up of several Bundesliga professionals, managed to catch up again before the break.

Even after the change, it remained a duel at eye level in which the French were not able to break away decisively.

Only when Poland's strength dwindled in the final phase did the Olympic champion finally prevail.