STA, 14 January 2020 - The Slovenian men's handball team made it to the main round of the European Championship featuring the best 12 teams at the tournament after winning all three matches in the preliminary round, including against the hosts Sweden.
Slovenia opened the tournament in Group F in Sweden's Gothenburg last Friday by beating Poland 26:23, and followed the win up with a tough 21:19 victory against the Swedes on Sunday.
The cherry on the top was today's win against Switzerland, with Slovenia easily cruising past the Swiss for a 29:25 win and a perfect 3:0 score at the tournament under the new head coach Ljubomir Vranješ.
Vranješ said that the liked that the players "showed character", including the younger and lesser used players, which showed that "we have breadth in the team" and was important mentally and when it came to the playing form.
In the main round, Slovenia will play in Group II in Malmö and start the four-game phase on Friday and finish it on 22 January. The top two teams from each of the main round groups will make it to the semi-finals in Stockholm.
"I always want to win, and the players do too, and of course we had thought we would advance," the coach said, adding that "we have done a fantastic job in Gothenburg and now we are going to Malmö."
At the tournament co-hosted by Austria and Norway, Slovenia are also looking to secure a berth at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo or a slot at one of the three Olympic qualifying tournaments.
Only the Euro winner will secure a berth at the 2020 Summer Olympics. If the winner is Denmark, who have already won a ticket for Tokyo by winning the latest world championship, the runner-up will also secure an Olympic berth.
Another path to Tokyo is via three qualifying tournaments, hosted by France, Germany and Norway between 17 and 19 April, with two teams to qualify from each.
Sweden, Croatia and Spain have secured the appearance at the tournaments, and another two slots are open for European teams. Slovenia could secure a slot depending on their result at the championship.