France are set to begin the defence of their title against Canada tomorrow when the Men’s Youth World Handball Championship begins in North Macedonia’s capital Skopje.
The 2015 and 2017 champions have been drawn into Group B for the latest edition of the biennial event due to run through to August 18.
As well as Canada, they will go up against Chinese Taipei, Egypt, Hungary and Sweden in a single round-robin format.
Spain, the 2017 silver medallists, headline Group A in a section that also includes Chile, Croatia, Norway, Saudi Arabia and Slovenia.
Group C is made up of three-time winners and 2017 bronze medallists Denmark along with Argentina, Bahrain, Japan, Nigeria and North Macedonia.
Brazil, Germany, Iceland, Portugal, Serbia and Tunisia will contest Group D.
Group A and B matches will be held at the Jane Sandanski Arena, while Group C and D games will be hosted by the Boris Trajkovski Sports Center.
The top four teams in each group are scheduled to advance to the round of 16, scheduled to take place on August 14.
That will be followed by the quarter-finals on August 15, the semi-finals on August 17 and the final on August 18.
The draw for the event was held at the International Handball Federation’s head office in Swiss city Basel in May.
"In this age group, it’s always difficult to say which teams are strong so I can’t say much about the groups," Per Bertelsen, chairman of the IHF Commission of Organising and Competitions, said at the time.
"But it will be a good Championship.
"The hosts are well prepared and the venues are good.
"We are looking forward to it."
France would level Denmark’s record of three wins if they claim their third consecutive title this year.
Serbia and Montenegro and Croatia have one triumph each, in 2005 and 2009 respectively.