The draws for the Rio 2016 handball competitions have been made ©Getty Images

Brazil's women caused a surprise by opting to join a tough-looking group as the draw for the Rio 2016 handball tournament was made.

In a twist to the proceedings, the host nation were given the right to choose what pool to go into at the end of proceedings.

The Brazilians, the world champions in 2013, picked Group A and will now face all three medal-winning sides from London 2012.

Their opening match will be against Norway, the current Olympic, world and European champions, while London silver medallists Montenegro and bronze winners Spain are also in the group.

Romania, who ended Brazil's hopes of defending their world title in the last 16 in Denmark last year, complete the tough-looking line-up.

With the top four teams from each men's and women's group advancing to the quarter-finals, Brazil could be hoping for easier knock-out games should they make it through.

"I am certain that we are ready to start the Olympic Games well," Brazil's coach Martin Soubak said.

Brazil's women opted to join a tough group
Brazil's women opted to join a tough group ©Getty Images

"I hope playing at home will be very positive for us.

"Our players love playing in Brazil."

Group B of the tournament looks - on paper at least - less tricky, although it does contain world silver medallists The Netherlands and European bronze medallists Sweden.

France, Argentina, Russia and South Korea complete the line-up.

In the men's draw, the Brazilians did opt for the easier looking pool as they chose to play in Group B.

They will still face tough matches against London 2012 silver medallists Sweden and European champions Germany, as well as Poland, Slovenia and Egypt.

In Group A, back-to-back Olympic champions France will meet Croatia, who won gold at Atlanta 1996 and Athens 2004.

Denmark, losing finalists to France at the European Championships in 2014 and European champions in 2012, and Qatar, silver medallists at the 2015 World Championships, are also in the group alongside Tunisia and Argentina.

Handball in Rio will be played at the Future Arena - where the draw took place - between August 6 and 21.