Norway were just too strong for Germany ©IHF

After a dramatic day at the International Handball Federation (IHF) Women's World Championship in Japan, the semi-finalists have been determined. 

In Group I, final-four spots were still up for grabs going into the last round of games, with The Netherlands playing South Korea, Serbia up against Denmark and Norway facing Germany.   

Game one at Aqua Dome Kumamoto saw The Netherlands record their third victory in five games, 40-33, putting them into a strong position - with the top two teams going through.

Serbia and Denmark then couldn’t be separated, earning a point each from a 26-26 draw, while Norway's narrow 32-29 triumph saw them top the group with four wins, two points clear of the Dutch.  

It was an agonising day for Serbia, who just missed out on semi-final qualification and now face Montenegro in the fifth-place game.

Group 2 at the Park Dome was slightly more straightforward, with Russia defeating Spain 36-26 and cruising through unbeaten.

This was a good result for Sweden, looking to sneak into second place in the group.

However, they were unable to beat Montenegro, losing 26-23, and now play Germany in the seventh-place game.

The other Group 2 match saw cellar-dwellers Romania lose 37-20 to Japan.

Norway against Spain is the first evening semi-final on Friday (December 13), followed on court by Russia facing The Netherlands.

The fifth-place and seventh-place matches take place earlier in the day, with he finals on Sunday (December 15).

There promises to be a new name on the trophy, with defending champions France having already been eliminated.