Each 12 women’s and men’s team will compete in the Olympics handball tournament in London 2012. Host Great Britain is directly qualified for both tournaments, same as the World Champions 2011 (Sweden for men and Brazil for women).
Additional four direct qualification places are given to the Continental Federations from Europe, Asia, Africa and Pan America. As the Women’s EURO has already been played as the first Continental qualification tournament, the others will follow until the Men’s EURO in January 2012. The winners of those Continental tournaments are directly qualified for the Olympics.
The remaining six places for London will be decided in each three IHF Olympics Qualification Tournaments in 2012 – the men’s tournaments will be played in April 2012, the women’s tournaments in May 2012. The each two best ranked teams of those tournaments are qualified for the Olympics.
How to qualify for those qualification tournaments?
The teams ranked 2 to 7 at the World Championships 2011 (Sweden and Brazil) book their tickets to those tournaments directly. The teams ranked 2 to 4 have the right to organize those tournaments as hosting nations. The additional six places are given as Continental quota places: Africa, Asia, Pan-America and Europe each have one place, additionally the two continents ranked best at the World Championships 2011 in Sweden and Brazil receive another place for those tournaments. For the men’s qualification those two additional places are already decided, as Europe and Pan-America (thanks to the Argentine qualification for the Main Round in Sweden) are the best ranked continents.
The distribution for the places in the men’s qualification tournaments is the following:
Teams ranked 2 to 7 in Sweden: 6 places
Europe: 2 places
Pan-America 2 places
Africa: 1 place
Asia: 1 place
In total 12 places.
Those places (and the direct Olympics qualification for the winners) will be decided in the following Continental qualification tournaments:
February 2011: African Championships (Men and Women)
October 2011: Asian Women’s Qualification event
October 2011: Pan-American Games (Men and Women)
November 2011: Asian Men’s Qualification event
December 2011: Women’s World Championship
January 2012: Men’s European Championship