Three wins for Norway in France
There was a clean sweep for Norway in the third edition of the Women’s Golden League which was carried out in Nantes, France this week.
Three clear wins gave the EHF EURO 2012 silver medallists an undisputed first place in the tournament ahead of Russia, Denmark and France.
Norway opened the tournament with a resounding win against Denmark, who had defeated Thorir Hergeirsson´s ladies in the two countries’ three latest meetings.
This time Norway took a clear lead early on and were leading by 11 goals already at half-time. After 60 minutes the score board showed a stunning 40:24 win for Norway.
In the second match day Norway were up against Russia who had defeated the French hosts 23:21 in their first match, in which the Russians had been dominating almost all the way, but had to hold on after a clear lead was cut down towards the end.
Norway did not have much trouble with Russia’s relatively new and young team, winning 29:22. France made up for their opening defeat to Russia by beating Denmark 25:24, despite having been behind most of the match.
Norway went into the final game against the hosts, needing just a draw to secure first place in the tournament.
From the start of the “final” a Norwegian triumph was not looking very likely. France jumped 4:0 ahead and 7:2, but the Norwegians managed to catch up and lead 12:10 by the end of the first half.
Norway never looked back and won the second half with exactly the same score as the first, with a final score of 24:20, three wins from three and the first place in the tournament.
In the other match on the last day of the tournament, Denmark got their first points, defeating Russia 31:30.
Statements after the tournament:
Mia Hermansson Högdahl, assistant national coach of Norway (for the Norwegian federation’s website):
“It was great that the Norwegian girls showed a strong fighting spirit, not least as things got tough against France, also considering the many changes and the fact that many of the players had not played much together before.”
Jan Pytlick, national, Denmark (for Danish TV2):
“We played a fine match at the end, where we added several layers to our game. Our opening match against Norway was not good, but our last two matches were fine.”
Olivier Krumbholz, national coach, France (for the French federation’s website):
“It will be a mixed evaluation, as we did not approach the problems too poorly, but we will have to be sharper at the beginning of June (World Championship play-offs).”
TEXT: Peter Bruun / cor