France won the fifth handball World Championship trophy
France won against hosts Qatar and became the first team in history with five gold medals in handball World championship (1995, 2001, 2009, 2011 and 2014). They have two gold medals from the Olympic Games (2008 and 2012) and three triumphs on European Championship (2006, 2010 and 2014) which made them the only national team with titles in all three competition and dominant handball force. A cosmopolitan Qatar side also enter into history as a first non-European nation to win a world championship medal.
The French national team were favorites for the gold medal before this competition, so they justified the expectations. They won 25:22 over Qatar which maybe is surprise as it was expected to win more convincingly, but the hosts had help from 15,000 home crowd which made a noisy atmosphere. According to some handball experts, the referees were also with the hosts during the tournament. In the winning team great performance showed the play-maker Nikola Karabatic, as so the goalkeeper Thierry Omeyer who had 37% of saving shots which is between the best records on the championship. It is interesting fact that France have no scorer between Top 10 on this tournament. However, they have four scorers between Top 30 position on the list (Guigou, Karabatic, Joli and Porte) which shows the power of the collective. France were lead by experienced coach Claude Onesta and were undefeated on the tournament. The goalkeeper Omeyer has more than 300 games for national team and four World Championships. He said after the final:
"We are world champions once again and this gold medal makes me very happy and proud. Qatar have been tough opponents, but we managed to control the rhythm of the final and to always keep a margin. I believe that we played a fantastic tournament here and deserved to get the gold medal and return to the top. We are a great team, but a great family as well. To be like a family is the most important factor for a team to have success. We worked hard to be on top and stay on a high level."
France booked a spot at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, while hosts Qatar have qualified for the Olympic Qualification Tournaments which will be held in April 2016.
Qatar was the 32nd-ranked nation before the tournament and on the last World Championship in Spain 2013 they finished as 20th placed. Qatar made a big investments in this team and naturalized a large number of foreign players to their squad for this championship. The left back Bertrand Roine once played for France, goalkeeper Goran Stojanovic and forward Zarko Markovic come from Montenegro, the second-choice goalkeeper Danijel Saric is from Bosnia, Borja Vidal is from Spain, Hassan Mabrouk is an Egyptian, while Rafael Capote comes from Cuba. The goalkeeper Danijel Saric is fifth on the best goalkeeper list, the goal scorer Zarko Markovic, who scored 67 goals, was second on top scorer list and Rafael Capote with 48 goals is fifth placed on that list. They also bought an experience coach who already has international success. The coach Valero Rivera lead Spanish national side on the last World Championship to the golden medal. He worked on the physical conditions, the defense and the discipline in the team, so results were evident. The referees also were part of this team. They were widely accused of being one-sided in favor of Qatar on their road to the final, especially at the matches against Austria, Germany and Poland. Poland players sarcastically clap in the referees after the semi-final match. Poland finished third and won the bronze medal after the dramatic 29:28 win over Spain in extra time, so the former champions ended without medal which was another surprise on this tournament.
Qatar spent around 230 billion dollars on organization of this Championship. They even import fans from Spain to support their national team in this tournament. According to some unofficial sources, each Qatari player would get 1 million dollars, luxury Maserati and apartment on "The Pearl" - an artificial island made near Doha. Qatar is proof that with money you can buy almost everything and for sure you should make an extra effort to win World Championship gold.