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Handball

Spain smash Denmark to take handball title

Tournament hosts Spain have waltzed to Handball World Championship victory, dismantling Denmark 35-19 in the final. The game was close for a while, but Spain ran away with it around the half-way mark.

Spain's handballers won the crown on home ground in Barcelona's Palau Sant Jordi arena on Sunday, rolling Denmark over in the last game of the tournament.

Spain won the final 35-19, claiming the title for only the second time. Spain beat Croatia at the 2005 tournament in Tunisia.

Sunday's game remained reasonably tight for much of the first half, with the score standing at 13-9 around five minutes before the break. Hosts Spain took control of the game thereafter, though, stretching their advantage to 26-12 over the subsequent 15 minutes of play.

Center back Joan Canellas led the scoring as seven of his eight shots found the net; three other Spaniards scored five or more. Goalkeeper Arpab Sterbik also had a strong game, making 14 saves. Denmark's 18 turnovers, compared to 10 from Spain, was another notable statistical difference between the mismatched sides.

Spain eliminated Germany from the competition in the quarterfinals, winning that game 26-24. The Germans finished the 23rd edition of the world championship ranked fifth overall.

Croatia, losers against Denmark in the semis, secured bronze in Saturday's third-place playoff at Slovenia's expense.

msh/dr (dpa, SID)