Host City: Beijing, China
Date Started: August 9, 2008
Date Finished: August 24, 2008
Participants: 343 (172 men and 171 women) from 18 countries
Youngest Participant: Azenaide Carlos (18 years, 57 days)
Oldest Participant: Christian Schwarzer (38 years, 292 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 85 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): 6 countries with 1 medal
The 2008 handball matches were held at the Guojia Tiyuguan, or the National Indoor Stadium, at the Olympic Green; and the Ao Ti Zhongxin Tiyuguan, or the Olympic Sports Centre Gymnasium; with the final rounds held at the National Indoor Stadium. The Olympic Sports Centre Gymnasium was at the southern edge of the Olympic Green and was an existing venue, but it was renovated for the 2008 Olympics, with the renovation completed in August 2007. The National Indoor Stadium was specially built for the 2008 Olympics and was finished in November 2007. It was nicknamed “The Fan” because it resembled a Chinese folding fan.
The format for both men and women was two groups of six teams each that played a round-robin tournament to advance four teams from each group to the single-elimination brackets, beginning with the quarter-finals. The women’s field was expanded to 12 teams for the first time, after 10 teams competed in 2000 and 2004, 8 teams from 1988-96, and 6 teams from 1976-84.