Rio 2016: Karabatic stars once more as France secure Handball semi-final with Germany

The men's Handball quarter-finals took place on Wednesday in Rio, with four European sides moving forward in the battle for gold

Rio 2016: Karabatic stars once more as France secure Handball semi-final with Germany
Nikola Karabatic stars as France beat Brazil in the Handball (image via: Javier Soriano/AFP/Getty Images)

Just four sides remain the men's Handball competition at the Rio Olympics following the quarter-finals, with the medals certain to be shared among European nations. 

France and Germany will meet in one of those semi-finals after they each claimed impressive victories on Wednesday, with Denmark, Slovenia, Poland and Croatia on the other side of the draw.

In a sport which has taken off in mainland Europe, hosts Brazil and the continentally-recruited Qatar side both fell by the wayside on a riveting day of action at the Future Arena

Reigning champions France move on after seeing off home nation

In the opener on Wednesday, the champions from Beijing and London showed no mercy in putting away the host nation with a 34-27 victory. 

Michael Guigou and Daniel Narcisse did most of the damage on the offensive front with eight and seven goals respectively for the French, but the game was very much in the balance until the final quarter when the defending champions pulled away to win by seven.

A superstar who does not carry world acclaim starred once more for the French and will be key to their hopes of claiming a third Olympic title. Nikola Karabatić does it all for the French both on attack and defence, and was once more at the forefront of much of the good work in Wednesday's quarter-final win. 

Nikola Karabatic on the attack against Brazil (image via: Laurence Griffiths/Getty)

As well as scoring four goals of his own, Karabatic provided five assists for his teammates while also securing one turnover and a steal alongside being a constant menace to the Brazilian wingers from his position of centre back, placing him at the heart of the French team. 

Cedric Sodhaindo chipped in with six goals for the French, yet the Brazilians put up a good fight thanks mainly to the goals of Alexandro Pozzer (8) and Thiagus Dos Santos (7) before struggling down the stretch as their participation in this event came to an end.

Multi-national Qatarians dumped out by Germany

One of the most fascinating teams to follow at this Olympic games has been that of the Qatarian Handball team

A squad of players which includes foreign-born stats from France, Germany, Croatia, Cuba and Egypt amongst others have been recruited over the past couple of years with stunning results as the country flew up the world rankings. 

Having made it through the group stage, Qatar met their match in the form of Germany in Wednesday's last eight fixture, eventually going down to  heavy 34-22 defeat. 

Cuban Rafael Capote on his way to nine goals for Qatar (image via: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images) 

Coached by a Spaniard in the form of Valero Rivera, the Asian's found themselves 16-12 down at the half before eventually going down by 12 goals, as the Germans got revenge for last year's World Championship defeat at the quarter-final stage. 

Uwe Gensheimer, Tobias Reichmann and Fabian Weide each scored five apiece for the Germans, while Rafael da Costa Capote -a Cuban-born Qatari, led all scorers with nine, but it was nowhere near enough. 

It will be fascinating to see how this Qatari squad progresses over the next four years leading up to Tokyo, and with failure in Rio, recruitment may yet reach new levels as they do everything they can to secure an Olympic medal in 2020.