Hungary and Russia were among the winners on the first day of action at three qualification tournaments which will decide the remaining six women’s handball teams at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
In the tournament being held at the Audi Arena in Gyor, Hungary, four teams are battling for two places.
Hosts Hungary ran out comprehensive 46-19 winners over Kazakhstan.
Although Kazakhstan led after 46 seconds it was the only time they were in front as the Hungarians turned on the style to win by 27 goals.
Top scorer for the Hungarians was Viktoria Lukacs who netted seven times.
Later in the day, Russia edged out Serbia 29-24.
Russia led for the majority of the encounter but Serbia showed good battling qualities to keep the game close.
Five unanswered goals from the Russians in the final period helped them close out a five-goal win, with their top performer being Anna Vyakhireva, who netted seven times.
Three teams are battling for two spots at the tournament being held at the Polideportivo Pla De L’Arc in Lliria, Spain.
In the day’s one match in that tournament hosts Spain drew 28-28 with Sweden.
Spain’s team are nicknamed Las Guerraras, which translates as The Warriors, and they showed plenty of fighting spirit as they came back from four goals down with 11 minutes remaining to draw the contest.
In a dramatic finale, Jennifer Bermejo scored a goal to tie the match with one second left on the clock, a result that means the last three meetings between the two teams have ended level.
The third team in the tournament Argentina open their campaign tomorrow against Sweden.
Three teams are also fighting for two Tokyo 2020 berths at the tournament being held at the Verde Complex in Podgorica, Montenegro.
In today’s sole match in that tournament hosts Montenegro narrowly beat Norway 28-23 in a repeat of the London 2012 Olympic women’s handball final.
Montenegro produced an impressive defensive performance to disrupt the Norway attack, and at the other end of the pitch, produced an impressive offensive display, as they dominated the match.
Montenegro produced a controlled performance to close out a five goal win and reverse the result from the London 2012 gold medal match.
The third team in that tournament are Romania and they will open their campaign tomorrow against Norway.