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03.10.2012, 12:56
France aim for top four at EHF EURO 2012
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Women's national team ready to bounce back after quarter-final loss at the Olympic Games
 

France aim for top four at EHF EURO 2012

For the French women’s national team, the London 2012 Olympic Games are still a failure that they have to forget as quick as possible.

A few months after losing against Norway in the 2011 World Championship final in Brazil, head coach Olivier Krumbholz’s team still does not understand why their quest for an Olympic medal suddenly stopped in the quarter-final against Montenegro.

“We started the competition very well, which isn't something we're used to, but during this quarter-final we did not play as good as in the previous matches, maybe because of what was at stake,” says national player Claudine Mendy.

“We panicked a bit and we lost control of the game. We lacked experience and maturity in that moment,” teammate Allison Pineau (pictured right) adds who plays for Romanian club Oltchim Valcea.

But now the Golden League is coming up (5 to 7 October) and France will meet three of the best teams in Europe: Denmark, Russia and Norway.

At the Olympics France beat Denmark 30-24 in the Preliminary Round. Russia was the last team France played against in two tests to prepare for the Olympic Games. They lost the first match 31-30 and won the second 28-24. The last result against Norway is also a positive one as they beat the Scandinavian team 24-23 in the their first match in London.

A lot of uncertainty

However, France will arrive in Denmark to play the Golden League with a lot of uncertainty, as Allison Pineau confesses. 

“This competition already looks very complicated. Games will be very tough against three very good teams," she says. 

"We haven't been together since the end of the Olympics, this is why it’s very difficult to know exactly what we will be able to do. I think that these three days of preparation will help us to make an assessment of the Games. We have to do that to start the machine again.” 

With 18 players being nominated for the Golden League, France for the most part are the same team as the one that played at the Olympics. Only Amandine Leynaud (injured) and Sophie Herbrecht are missing.

Gervaise Pierson (26) and Stephanie Daudé (28), both playing for Le Havre, will replace them.

With this first Golden League tournament, each participating team wants to prepare for the EHF European Championships which will take place in December in Serbia.

France will face Sweden, FYR Macedonia and Denmark in Group B. The Group Phase will take place in the city of Nis and every player expects to get a better result than the men's team who finished last in Main Round Group 2 at the Men's EHF EURO 2012 in January.

“Our team has been working together for three years. Our target is to reach the final four,” says Pineau.


For more EHF EURO 2012 news go to www.ehf-euro.com

Also join us on www.facebook.com/EHFEUROWomen


TEXT: Clément Domas / ts
 
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