First Olympic medal for Spanish women as they defeat Korea
Spain take bronze in London
Bronze final: Spain – Korea 31-29 (13-13, 24-24, 28-28)
It took 80 minutes, including two extra-time periods, in a real thriller before Spain eventually beat two-time Olympic champions Korea. Six missed penalty shots left the Asian champions reflecting on the chances they had for victory.
After a 13-13 half time score-line, Nely Alberto scored to give Spain their first four-goal lead at 20-16. But Korea managed to equalise again five minutes before the end at 23-23.
Spain then failed twice with penalty shots in the last four minutes, Korea levelled again and then for the first time in the London 2012 women’s handball competition, the game would be decided in extra-time.
And even after ten additional minutes nothing was decided. In the second extra-time Spain were able to count on their goalkeepers Silvia Navarro and Mihaela Ciobanu, who sealed the bronze medal.
Coach Jorge 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 grow up."
TEXT: Björn Pazen
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