Confirming its status as a team handball power, Norway won the 24-team World Championship tournament in Denmark, for their third-ever title (1999, 2011). The victory over a surprising Dutch team in the final also cemented Norway's status as Olympic favorites, as they look to three-peat as Games gold medalists. From these Worlds, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Denmark, Russia and France all qualified for the Olympic qualification tournaments next year to fill the Rio event. (12 teams overall to compete for six spots.)
The last time Japan played in an Olympic water polo men's tournament was 1984, when it finished in 11th place. Their win this weekend, though, in the Asian Water Polo Championship over China in their final match guaranteed their spot as continental representatives. In finishing second and third, China and Kazakhstan now move onto next year's qualification tournaments for a last chance at Rio for themselves.
While China's Women Make it Three Straight
China has represented Asia at the Olympics the last two cycles, having finished in fifth place in 2008 and 2012. They will try it again, after their two-leg playoff win against Japan for the Asian Water Polo Championship. Japan, meanwhile, will be the lone Asian representative in the Olympic qualification tournament next year for their last Rio chance., as no other teams competed in the Asian championship. Congrats to the victors!