needed 80 minutes to decide the game, but in the end the Spanish players danced
on the field, waving their flags. After two extra-times the Iberians took their
second medal in only eight month, winning the Olympic bronze final against
Korea 31-29. In December, Spain had become bronze medallist at the 2011 World Championship.
Winning bronze in London meant the first ever Olympic medal for the Spanish
Bronze final: Spain – Korea 31-29 (13-13,
Spanish handball women have won their first ever medal at Olympic Games. But it
took 80 minutes including two extra time periods in a real thriller before the
Spaniards could beat two-time Olympic champions Korea in the bronze medal match
on Saturday 11 August.
the bronze medallist of the 2011 World Championship won this tight and
tensioned duel 31-29 (13-13), (4-4) (3-1).
left the court heads down, as they were unsuccessful in their attempt to win a
medal for the second time in their eighth appearance at Olympic Games. Six
missed penalty shots left the Koreans reflecting on the chances they had for
halftime result 13-13 apparently looks like a close match, but the first 30
minutes were a constant roller coaster ride. First Korea extended the margin to
9-5, before Spain turned the game with six straight goals from a 11-7 backlog
to a 13-11 lead. Thanks to their top scorer GWON Han Na (KOR), the Asian
champions equalised again - and the match restarted at zero after the break.
teams lacked power and speed in their eighth match at the London 2012 Olympic
Games. When Nely ALBERTO (ESP) notched the first four-goal lead for Spain at
20-16, the spell seemed to be broken. But Korea still were not on the ground,
but in contrast equalised five minutes before the end at 23-23.
Iberians missed the decision, as they failed twice with penalty shots in the
last four minutes. After CHOI Im Jeong (KOR) levelled at 24-24, the final 20
seconds became a thriller.
JU Hui (KOR) saved a shot of Begona FERNANDEZ (ESP) and the Asian champions were
in ball possession four seconds before the end. JO Hyobi (KOR) seemed to have
scored the winning goal, but the time was already over. For the first time in
the London 2012 women’s handball competition an extra-time had to decide.
both opponents were highly nervous and hectic in attack, the first extra-time
ended at 28-28 with still no winner. Marta MANGUE (ESP) had the last chance to
score, but missed the goal with the final buzzer. From minute 70 on both teams
were on their last legs, unable to fight for the decision and to bring on the
could not take an earlier profit from the overall 15 saves of the goalkeepers
Silvia NAVARRO (ESP) and Mihaela CIOBANU (ESP), who saved four penalty shots,
as the attackers caused too many mistakes.
Jessica ALONSO (ESP) hit the net for the 31-29 ten seconds before the end of
the second extra-time, Spain sealed their first ever Olympic medal. The icing
of the cake was another saved penalty shot by NAVARRO (ESP) with the final
after the match:
DUENAS (ESP): "This
was incredible. We showed nothing short of a heroic performance without losing
concentration on the ultimate goal. We saw everything on the court, tension,
self-sacrifice and the ultimate desire to win despite many twists of
the game and fate."
Player Marta MANGUE (ESP): "My
dream has come true today. It was the hardest game today. I am wet through. I
think I died today. I am so happy. Right now I have my heart in my mouth and I
want to go and celebrate with my teammates. We had the most difficult group and
we couldn't think of anything but getting out of it. But I never expected we
would come this far. I never expected this. Women's handball in Spain will now
FERNANDEZ (ESP): "It
was a very tough game. Nothing was going well but we kept fighting. Only in the
end I had hoped for a medal. I couldn't believe it but now I am starting to
believe it was really true."
Won KANG (KOR): "I
would like to say thank you to my players even though many are injured. I hope
people know we did our best. Losing the game was my responsibility, not the
players. We were unlucky. I'm satisfied we went to extra-time. We failed to
have much energy at the end of extra-time. I'm feeling sorry because we
couldn't win the medal and I think I wasn't trying my best as a coach. Now I
feel lighter that the match is over and happily going back home."
Hyobi (KOR): "From
the beginning of the tournament we got players injured one by one as time goes
by. I think we mentally became neglected and there was a lack of energy
within our team. For older players in our team this is their last Olympic