One of the biggest sports stars in Denmark along with Caro is the mens handball team. They're the current European Champions and finished 2nd at the last World Cup. They'll be competing at the Summer Olympics in London but as seeds in the second lowest layer (5 of 6)! Sounds weird, right? Let me explain.
12 countries will be competing at the Olympics. The world champions and the continental champions from Europe, Americas, Asia and Africa as well as the host nations are automatically qualified.
The last 6 countries are to be found in 3 qualification tournaments with 4 teams each, consisting of the 6 best from the World Cup (who haven't otherwise qualified) as well as the #2s from the continental championships and the #3s from the two strongest continental championships, Europe and Americas. The two best teams from each of these 3 qualification groups are in the Olympics (these 6 qualifiers were all European teams).
The Olympics are to be played in two groups with 6 teams each. Each group will contain a team from the 1-2 seeds, the 3-4 seeds, the 5-6 seeds, the 7-8 seeds, the 9-10 seeds and the 11-12 seeds.
The seeds are determined like this:
1 & 2: The world champions and the winner of the toughest qualification group
3 & 4: The winners of the two other qualifications groups
5 & 6: The no. 2s in the two strongest qualification groups
7 & 8: The no. 2 in the weakest qualification group and the host nation
9 & 10: The continental champions from Europe and Americas
11 & 12: The continental champions from Asia and Africa
Naturally, like in other sports it's in team's interest to be a high seed. If for instance Denmark had been the #2 seed they can't be grouped with the world champions in Group Play, but even though they're probably one of the two best teams in the world they've been ranked near the bottom. In effect they have been punished for qualifying directly by winning the Euro Cup. The IHF (International Handball Federation) argues that they rank qualifiers higher than continental champions because the qualifiers played against countries from different continents while continental champions like Denmark naturally only played against countries from their own continent, even if all the best teams in the world are from that continent (at the World Cup the best non-European nation finished 12th!).
So, in effect all the seeds from 2-7 are European teams whom Denmark finished ahead of at BOTH the World Cup and the Euro Cup, but because Denmark's silver spot at the WC didn't qualify and the EC win wasn't an IHF tournament, it has no value when determining the seeds.
Anyone else think this is a bit odd?