Russia booked their place in the main round of the European Men’s Handball Championship, recording a 28-21 victory over Montenegro at the Ergo Arena in Gdansk, eliminating their rivals.
With Montenegro having lost their opening Group D matches against Denmark and Hungary, they needed a victory keep their chances of progress alive.
Their prospects looked bleak, however, by the end of first-half, with Russia having taken full control of the match, leading 14-9.
Sergey Gorbok and Sergei Shelmenko helped the Russians move into a 26-15 advantage early in the second-half and, although Montenegro rallied in the dying minutes, it proved too much of a deficit to overhaul.
The result also confirmed Hungary would be joining them and the already qualified Denmark in the next round.
With the pressure off, Hungary were hoping to end the group stage on a high by beating the 2014 runners-up, with a good victory giving them a chance of overtaking Russia in the standings.
They were forced, though, to settle for third place as Denmark recorded their third successive win, triumphing 30-22.
Slovenia’s participation in the tournament draw to a close after they were beaten by Germany at the Hala Stulecia in Wroclaw, the result leaving them them bottom of Group C.
They had earned a draw against 2013 world champions Spain but Slovenia’s narrow defeat to Sweden in their opening match of the tournament proved to be fatal.
Vid Kavticnik found the net on six occasions for the Slovenians during the match but his efforts proved to be in vain, as his team were unable to maintain the lead they established early in the encounter, Germany winning 25:21.
The result saw Germany lead the standings, but Spain reclaimed top spot and finish as group winners.
They pulled off a narrow 24-22 victory over Sweden, whose progression to the next round had been sealed by Slovenia's earlier defeat.
The winners of the tournament will qualify for this year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The runners-up will advance to the final qualification tournament for Rio 2016.
At the Asian Men’s Championship in Bahrain, holders Qatar recorded their third consecutive victory, overcoming Japan 29-24 at the Khalifa Sports City Hall in Isa Town.
Their victory leaves them top of Group A on six points and on the brink of advancing to the semi-final.
Only Japan and South Korea, who have both played two matches, will be able to catch Qatar, but both would need to win their final two matches by significant scores to overhaul the goal-difference.
The two countries are currently level on points with Oman, who clinched their first win of the tournament, beating Syria 31-24.
Their prospects on securing one of the two qualification places will depend on them beating Japan in their fourth and final group match on Friday (January 22) and hoping other results to go in their favour.
The winners of the tournament will qualify for next year's World Championships in France.