They did it: Norway’s popular women’s handball team won the European Championships after a winning streak that defied injury and illness among the players. It wasn’t easy, though, with the women known as håndballjentene (the handball girls) battling Spain in a match described as “dramatic.”
Norway made it into the finals in Budapest after beating arch-rival Sweden by a score of 29-25 on Friday night. It was their seventh entry ticket in a row into the finals, even though the team has gone through a generation shift since the glory days of the Summer Olympics in London when Norway won gold.
Friday’s victory left the team facing Spain once again, another handball powerhouse that Norway beat during competition earlier in the week at the European Championships that played out in Hungary and Croatia. The match ended with a score of 28-25, making the championship hard-won for the Norwegians. “I’m proud and humble,” head coach Thorir Hergeirsson told reporters when it was all over.
The victory assured the Norwegian handball team spots both in the World Championships in Denmark next year and at the Summer Olympics in Rio in 2016.