Norwegian handball fans are really having a ball again this month, as the World Championships play out in Serbia. Their beloved national team, known as håndball jentene (the handball girls), has already been on a winning streak that some say is slaughtering their competition.
The scores would certainly suggest that. On Tuesday night, Norway beat Paraguay by a stunning 34-13. On Monday Norway beat Argentina 37-18. Some sports commentators are claiming that it’s no longer a question of whether Norway will win, but rather how large their victory will be.
On Wednesday they were also asking whether it was right for some countries to return to championship play year after year, only to be decimated by powerhouse teams like Norway’s. Some feel standards for participation should be higher, others claim all nations must be allowed to participate.
“We’re here to learn, and to gain experience,” Marizza Faria of Paraguay’s team told newspaper Aftenposten. Many of the players on opposing teams view the Norwegians as their heroines, and even want to pose for photos with them.
There have been some media attempts to start calling Norway’s team, which won Olympic gold in London last year, håndballkvinnene (the handball women). Regardless, they still draw Norwegians to their televisions in December to watch the international competition and cheer them on. The championships in Serbia run until December 22, and Norway is heavily favoured to reach the finals.