More than 820,000 Norwegians followed the national women’s handball team’s opening match against Russia at the world championships in Denmark over the weekend. Norway lost by just one goal, but has trounced its competition since.
The viewership figures on TV2, which is broadcasting Norway’s championship matches, set a new record and proved that handball in Norway is as popular as ever. Fans were also happy when the national team’s next two matches showed how tough Norway can be, even though commentators thought they could be tougher.
After having a day off from competition on Sunday, Norway’s national team beat Puerto Rico by a score of 39 to 13 on Monday. Newspaper Aftenposten reported that the gap would have been greater if Puerto Rico hadn’t used so much time mounting its attacks and if Norway hadn’t made so many mistakes. Puerto Rico is considered the weakest team in Norway’s group that also includes Russia, Kazakhstan, Spain and Romania.
On Tuesday, Norway scored another decisive victory of 40-19 over Kazakhstan. A bigger test will emerge Friday in the Norwegians’ next match, against Spain. The championships run through next week.