The Icelandic national team in women’s handball is no longer in the running for the European Championship title after three losses in matches against the other teams in its qualifying group. They were the second-last team in place 15.
Icelanders are generally enthusiastic about handball. Here they welcome the men’s team after they won the bronze in the European Championship erlier this year. Photo by Geir Ólafsson.
The last game ended with the score 21-30 against Russia on Saturday; on Thursday Iceland lost 23-26 against Montenegro and 25-35 against Croatia on Wednesday.
Iceland’s coach Júlíus Jónasson told visir.is that although the team didn’t reach its goals, participating in the championship finals was a step in the right direction.
“This game, like all games in the tournament, is a valuable experience for us,” Jónasson commented. “You could see it in every face that they were all trying to do their best. […] We set our goals high and knew they would be hard to achieve.”
The game against Russia was difficult and Iceland’s performance was described as characteristic: every now and again the girls showed what they could do—during good periods they caught their opponent, the World Champion, by surprise.
But the good periods were far too short, there were too many mistakes and too many lost balls. Every mistake cost them dearly.
The Icelandic national team in men’s handball, on the other hand, beat Norway 35-29 in a practice tournament, nicknamed the handball world cup, on Wednesday after losing against Sweden the day before.
The tournament took place in Norway and four of the best Nordic nations participated in it, ruv.is reports.
“Fram earned the victory. We played poorly in the offense and defense. We had bad shots despite good opportunities in the game,” commented Akureyri’s coach Atli Hilmarsson to visir.is.
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