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Friday, June 21, 2024

Fencing saves disappointing day at the Olympics

It was another disappointing day for many Norwegians at the Olympics in London on Wednesday. Norway’s women’s handball team failed to beat South Korea, another Norwegian medal hope in swimming is now out of the Games, and a former rowing champion wound up in tears. Only a young athlete in fencing advanced.

Rower Olav Tufte was probably the most disappointed, with Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reporting that he broke down in tears after winding up last in Wednesday’s semi-finals. Tufte, who won gold medals at the Olympics in 2004 and 2008, finished sixth in competition at Eton and wasn’t even close to making the finals.

Swimmer Sara Nordenstam also ended up last in the 200-meter breast stroke quarter-finals and didn’t come close to defending her bronze medal at the last Olympics in Beijing. “I can’t explain it,” Nordenstam told NRK. “I’m beginning to think that I haven’t tolerated the pressure. If that’s the problem, then I’ll be angry.” She swam the distance in 2:27.9, compared to 2:23.02 in Beijing.

Norway’s cherished håndballjentene (the women’s national handball team) were also far from satisfied after their match against South Korea ended in a 27-27 tie. “We should have pulled in a victory towards the end,” Norway’s top scorer Linn Jørum told NRK. “We fumbled on the attack. I’m not satisfied at all.” The women’s handball team has been a medal hope since their big victory at the Olympics in Seoul, but in London they’ve so far lost against France and narrowly beat Sweden.

Bartosz Piasecki, however, restored some of Norway’s honor in fencing against Hungarian opponent Geza Imre. The 25-year-old Piasecki, taking part in his first Olympics, dominated and won a spot in the quarter finals. “This is indescribable,” he told news bureau NTB. “It was a typical match where everything clicked.” Piasecki was ranked 47th in the world and Imre 7th, but that now seems likely to change.

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