Norway’s long-triumphant women’s handball team has won three Olympic gold medals and most championship tournaments over the years, but now their hopes for another Olympic victory have been dashed. The highly popular håndballjentene (handball girls) lost their semi-final match against Russia by just one point Thursday night, and they all collapsed into tears.
State broadcaster NRK described the match was “a drama without parallel,” with Norway having to fight hard to win extra chances to score. The Russian team, however, was on the offensive all along, ultimately beating Norway by a score of 38-37.
The player most upset of all was Camilla Herrem, who failed to score the critical point needed to set off another extra round of overtime, and thus more scoring possibilities. Her miss sent Russia into the Olympic finals against France, leaving Norway to play against the Netherlands for the bronze medal.
It was another major setback for Norway at the Summer Olympics in Rio, which have resulted in only a few bronze medals. Norway will, at least, be represented at the closing ceremonies on Sunday by its internationally popular electronic music sensation Kygo. He was performing in Oslo Friday night before flying to Rio for the huge event before tens of thousands of spectators.