Host City: MÃ¼nchen, West Germany
Venue(s): Augsburg Sports Hall, Augsburg; BÃ¶blingen Sports Hall, BÃ¶blingen; Donau Hall, Ulm; Hohenstaufen Hall, GÃ¶ppingen; Sports Hall, Olympic Park, MÃ¼nchen
Date Started: August 30, 1972
Date Finished: September 10, 1972
Format: Round-robin pools advance teams to single-elimination classification matches.
With the first eight nations of the 1970 World Championships automatically qualified (and ninth place USSR added because West German was already qualified as a host), the Olympic tournament was ensured of a competitive field. Of these nine nations, only Denmark failed to reach the second round. Both semi-final pools were a close affair. In Group A, East Germany (runner-up at the 1970 Worlds) had beaten Czechoslovakia in the first round, but lost to the Soviet Union 11-8 and missed out on the final on goal difference. In the other pool, reigning world champion Romania was surprised by Yugoslavia, which moved away from the Romanians in the second half to beat them 14-13 in a low-scoring affair.
This gave Romania vs. East Germany, the World Championship final of 1970, as the bronze medal match in MÃ¼nchen. Two years earlier, the Romanians required two overtimes to get rid of the Germans, but this time they obtained an early lead, giving them a 19-16 win in the end. The final was slightly disappointing. The Yugoslavs started with a 4-0 lead after six minutes, and protected a seven-point advantage in the first half. This sealed the fate of Czechoslovakia, which never recovered and lost 21-16.