Norway are the reigning world and European champions ©Getty Images

Norway will bid to continue their run of success at major events by defending their title during the Women's Handball World Championship in Germany.

The tournament, where matches are spread across six German cities, begins tomorrow and concludes on December 17.

The Norwegians come into the event as the reigning world and European champions but had to settle for the bronze medal at last year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The disappointment in the Brazilian city is likely to spur the Norwegian team on for the competition in Germany, where they have been drawn in Group B of the preliminary round.

Sweden, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Argentina and Poland are the other teams in Norway's group.

Russia will aim to build on their triumph at Rio 2016 when they compete in Germany and they will face Denmark, Brazil, Montenegro, Japan and Tunisia in Group C.

Olympic silver medallists France will go up against Romania, Spain, Slovenia, Angola and Paraguay in Group A, while Group D is comprised of hosts Germany, The Netherlands, Serbia, South Korea, Cameroon and China.

Olympic champions Russia will also be hoping to clinch the world title in Germany ©Getty Images
Olympic champions Russia will also be hoping to clinch the world title in Germany ©Getty Images

The top four in each group will progress to the last 16.

Preliminary round matches are scheduled to be held at the EgeTrans Arena in Bietigheim-Bissingen, the GETEC Arena in Magdeburg, the Arena Leipzig in Leipzig, the Trier Arena in Trier and the EWE Arena in Oldenburg.

The semi-finals and medal contests will take place at the 12,500-capacity Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg.

Germany are hoping for a podium finish at the very least in front of their home fans at the tournament.

"We only focus on those matches of the preliminary round and try to reach a perfect base for the rest of the tournament," captain Anna Loerper said.

"But our main goal is to make it to Hamburg, to clinch the berth for the final weekend.

"I hope for full arenas, for a great atmosphere and exciting games. 

"If we manage this, we can increase the popularity and can cause a real boom.”