Norwegian media outlets were having a field day on Thursday, giving prominent coverage to how Norway’s popular women’s national handball team trounced Russia’s team in World Championship action in Germany Wednesday night. The Norwegian women beat their Russian counterparts by a score of 34-17 in the quarter-finals, after what media commentators called “majestic” play.
State broadcaster NRK reported that Norway “humiliated” and “outclassed” Russia, and that Russia’s coach had to take a time-out to ask which of his players wanted to continue playing. He admitted later that “some of them were afraid to play, they were too nervous” up against the Norwegians.
Most agreed that the Norwegian women totally outplayed the Russians. It was a matter of sweet revenge in some ways. While Norway’s national handball team remains the reigning World- and European Champions, the Norwegian women lost to Russia in the finals at the Olympics just last year. The team that always goes for gold wound up with “only” Olympic bronze, and is intent on winning gold again now as defending World Champions.
Team members were pleased, with Stine Bredal Oftedal telling NRK, for example, that she felt “properly satisfied and proud.” The Norwegians dominated from the start, leading 5-1 after just 10 minutes. The Russians never recovered, leaving Norway to meet the Netherlands in the semi-finals on Friday.