London 2012 silver medallists Montenegro booked their place at Rio 2016 after winning their second match of the International Handball Federation (IHF) Women’s Olympic Qualification tournament in Aarhus.
Having won their opening match of the tournament against Uruguay yesterday, the Montenegrin team knew that success against hosts Denmark would move them to the brink of earning one of two qualifying places in the four-team group.
A crowd of 3,500 were in attendance to cheer Denmark on in their must win match, but their team trailed 13-10 when the first half of the tie drew to a close.
An impressive fightback in the second saw the hosts draw level at 19-all, however the Montenegrins regained control of the contest and retook the lead in the final 10 minutes.
Katarina Bulatović eventually led Montenegro to a 26-22 triumph, after finding the net nine times in the contest.
In the second group match of the day, Romania cruised to a comprehensive 36–19 win over Uruguay.
The result ensured that both Romania and Montenegro booked their places at Rio 2016, as they boast an unassailable points tally over their group rivals, with the two nations now set to meet to decide who tops the standings tomorrow.
There were also celebrations for Russia and Sweden's women in Astrakhan, as they both sealed their Olympic places by winning their second matches of the qualifying tournament.
Hosts Russia eased to a 37-17 victory over Mexico, while the Swedish team triumphed 30-24 against Poland.
The results brought Poland’s hopes of reaching the Olympics to an end, with their team unable to replicate the form which saw them finish fourth at the 2015 World Championships.
The Netherlands had no such problems, with the World Championship runners-up sealing their spot at Rio 2016 after recording a 33–25 victory over Japan, despite trailing by a goal at half-time.
Their place was secured due to Japan and France meeting in the final match of the competition, with the two nations boosting one victory from their two matches in the third qualification event in Metz.
Hosts France set up tomorrow’s winner takes all clash by defeating Tunisia 33–15 to earn their first win.