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- King of Norway
Norway claimed the women’s handball world championship after a spectacular second-half comeback to beat the 2020 Olympic champions France 29-22 and gain the royal seal of approval.
Trailing 16-10 after 28 minutes, the Norwegians managed to go in at half-time with France only four goals ahead at16-12.
After the pause, Norway stepped up the pace and blitzed their opponents with four quick goals to draw level at 16-16.
Both sides traded strikes until the Norwegians went ahead for the first time in the match at 19-18.
Though France came back to 19-19, that was as good as it got for Olivier Krrumbholz’s side.
The Norwegians opened up a two goal advantage after 39 minutes and Nora Mork’s penalty in the 47th minute made it 24-20
Three minutes later it was 26-20 and effectively game over with the French side tiring and demoralised.
And Thorir Hergeirsson's rejuventated players maintained their distance to lift Norway’s fourth title at the International Handball Federation’s most prestigious national team tournament.
The triumph followed the disappointment of a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics in the summer after victory at the European championships last December.
France coach Olivier Krumbholz said: “We are very disappointed to have lost and to have played very badly in the second half.
“But we’ve done really well to reach the final. We were up against a good opponent and we'll have to be better to beat them.”
Henny Reistad emerged from the encounter as Norway’s top scorer with six goals while Mork and Stine Oftedal netted five times each.
They were aided by goalkeeper Silje Solberg who made 12 saves - 10 of them in the second half as France - with only six goals - became the lowest scoring side in a single half of a world championship final since 1973 when Romania scored only four times against Yugoslavia in their 16-11 defeat.
“We were calm and talked about what we needed to do to come back,” Camilla Herrem told the IHF website. “Tempers were not flaring, we understood that we need to get back to our plan, to stick to what we do best and believe in ourselves.”
Hergeirsson, who has steered the team to three world championship titles since taking over in 2009, told TV3 Norway: “We got ourselves into trouble in the first place so we were really the only people who could do something about it.
“I'm impressed by what the team did in the second half and I'm extremely proud. We got to see the competitive spirit that drives all of them.”
Denmark claimed third place at the biennial championships following a 35-28 victory over Spain.