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France open world title defence with Brazil rout

© AFP | France's left back William Accambray (L) attempts a shot on goal over Brazil's right back Gabriel Ceretta Jung during the 25th IHF Men's World Championship 2017 handball match France vs Brazil on January 11, 2017 at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris

PARIS (AFP) - 

France opened the defence of their world handball championships title with a crushing 31-16 win over Brazil on Wednesday in Paris.

The French side, bidding for a sixth world crown to add to triumphs in 1995, 2001, 2009, 2011 and 2015, had the match virtually wrapped up by half time when they were 17-7 ahead.

Two years ago in Doha the French ran out 25-22 final winners over Qatar but they suffered disappointment at the Rio Olympics in 2016 when they were defeated by Denmark and missed out on a third consecutive gold.

France won the world title on the last occasion the championships were held at home in 2001.

© 2017 AFP