Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Venue(s): Titan Gym, California State University at Fullerton, Fullerton, California
Date Started: August 1, 1984
Date Finished: August 9, 1984
Format: Round-robin tournament.
The 1982 World Championships had ended with the Soviet Union beating out host nation Hungary, with Yugoslavia taking the bronze. These three squads qualified directly for the Olympics, supplemented with the host nation (US), the best European qualifier (East Germany, also #4 at the 1982 Worlds) and China as the winner of the Africa/Americas/Asia qualification tournament. As the USSR, GDR and Hungary refused to play in Los Angeles, they were replaced, with South Korea (sixth at the Worlds), West Germany (ninth) and Austria (eighth at the 1983 B World Championships) taking their places. This left Yugoslavia the overwhelming favorite for the title.
The first match for Yugoslavia did not yet display this potential, as they beat West Germany by only a single goal (20-19). After that things went easier for them and they won the next two matches. Their fourth match was effectively the "final". They played South Korea, the second-ranked team with two wins and one loss. A win for Yugoslavia would guarantee the gold medal, which they managed, 29-23. They were helped by eight goals from Jasna Kolar-Merdan, who would tally up 48 goals in the entire tournament, including a record 17 in the 33-20 battering of the home team.
Despite their loss against Yugoslavia, the Koreans held on to win the silver medal, soundly beating West Germany in the final match 26-17, through 16 goals by Yun Byeong-Sun. This defeat cost the West Germans a medal, the bronze now going to China. The two medals for the Asian nations also marked the first time a non-European nation medalled in handball at the Olympics.