Champions France into world final

Defending champions France defeated Slovenia 31-25 on Thursday to reach the final of the world handball championship and get to within touching distance of a sixth major international title.

Leading 15-12 at half-time, France stretched their advantage after the interval and set-up a Sunday title showdown against either Croatia or Norway, who play their semi-final on Friday.

France will start as favourites for the title having seen Olympic champions Denmark and European champions Germany knocked out in the last 16.

The French, who beat Sweden 33-30 in the quarter-finals, have already beaten Norway by 31-28 in the pool stages and have lost just once to Croatia in five meetings since the 2008 Beijing Olympics.