OLYMPICS LONDON 2012: Women's handballers suffer fourth loss
By Sean-Paul Doran, Sportsbeat, London 2012
GREAT Britain women’s handball coach Jesper Holmris insists his side are improving – despite falling to a fourth successive London 2012 defeat.
LESSONS LEARNED: Team GB women's handballers suffer fourth defeat during London 2012
Team GB produced a battling performance to record a narrow 31-25 defeat against African champions Angola as they continue to search for their first ever Olympic win.
And Denmark-born Holmris is taking the positives from their London 2012 campaign as his inexperienced side continue to find their feet at competitive level.
He said: “I'm actually proud of the performance. We thought before this tournament that we were a little bit closer to Angola, but everyone can see they are much stronger now.
“The long term goal is we can now see we are competitive against most of the nations.
“If we are competitive now with only four, five years of practice, then of course there is a really good future for handball in Great Britain.”
Team GB went in to the half-time break 14-10 down after a disappointing first half but showed determination after the restart to make the Angolans work hard for their victory.
The Brits’ patient build-up play wasn’t enough to pose too many problems for their opponents and the home side conceded a string of penalties as they struggled to deal with Angola’s fast attacks.
The scores stood at 24-18 with 15 minutes to go as the African side threatened to run away with the game – and despite a late rally of five goals in five minutes, the home side couldn’t overturn the deficit.
Captain Lynn McCafferty, who will retire from the sport after London 2012, believes her side are learning from their experiences.
“We didn't make as many mistakes in this game as in previous games and the scoreline doesn't reflect how well we played, but that's the way it is in handball,” said the 33-year-old playmaker.
“I play my last game on Sunday against Croatia and then I am going to go back home to Scotland to my husband and family and work on developing handball in Scotland.
“I'm a little bit emotional but I wouldn't change this experience for the world. I wanted to come out and show the sport I love to the world and show everyone what handball is like. I hope we did that regardless of the result.”
© Sportsbeat 2012