Montpellier, 14 March 2021 - Croatian National Male Handball Team failed to secure appearance at this summer’s Tokyo Olympics, that represents its first such setback since the qualifying tournament for the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics. At the qualifying tournament in France's Montpellier, Hrvoje Horvat's selectees scored two wins out of three performances - over Portugal 25-24 and Tunisia 30-27, with a starting loss to France (26-30).

After overcoming Tunisia, the departure of Croatian handball players to Tokyo was decided by the last match of the Tournament – the match France - Portugal. The hosts controlled the match, constantly leading by several points, but in the dramatic finals the Portuguese team managed to overturn the situation into the final score of 28-29 – securing thus, together with the host – the Olympic "visa". There were only five seconds that stood in our team’s way to achieving their goal...

Besides France and Portugal, the European Olympic standard for Tokyo was also achieved by Norway, Brazil, Sweden and Germany, followed by the host Japan, Denmark, Spain, Egypt, Argentina and Bahrain, who have already secured their performance earlier. (NOC of Croatia/VK)