March 30, 2008 / 6:07 PM / in 11 years

Germany qualify for Beijing women's handball

Germany's Maren Baumbach celebrates after scoring during their match against Cuba during the qualification handball tournament for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in Leipzig March 30, 2008. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

LONDON (Reuters) - Germany, Sweden, Hungary, France and South Korea have qualified for the women’s handball competition at the Beijing Olympics.

Germany scraped past Sweden 27-26 before beating Croatia 22-16 on Saturday at a four-team qualifying tournament in Leipzig. Sweden beat Croatia 24-22 on Sunday to be the second team at the tournament to qualify for the Aug 8-24 Games.

Romania booked their place after a qualifying tournament in Bucharest with two successive wins and Hungary joined them on the plane to Beijing by beating Japan 39-29 on Sunday.

In a third qualifier in Nimes, South Korea, silver medallists four years ago, and France qualified. The two teams had drawn 25-25 on Saturday and 24 hours later France, fourth at Athens 2004, beat Congo 36-19 and Korea defeated Ivory Coast 38-21.

China, Russia, Norway, Angola, Kazakhstan and Brazil had already qualified for the 12-team tournament at the Games. Denmark, gold medallists in Athens, have failed to reach the Beijing Games.

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