After starting brilliantly GB Men´s Handball Team loses against defending Olympic Champion France 15:44.
After the first whistle to start of the game the crowd went mad. It´s Great Britain’s first ever participation in the Olympic Games. And what a start it was. It was none other than Great Britain´s Handball Player of the year Steven Larsson who scored the opening Goal of the Game. But more on him later on.
One could feel that this starting Lineup was ready for the fight. Against expectations GB played some of their best Handball and was able to make the French Team nervous at first. An excellent Handball game it was indeed. “This is the best I have ever seen GB play. Especially against France. What a Start into the Olympic tournament.” Says Tom White, a GB fan who was accompanying me throughout the game.
We were all in for a treat as the score was 5:8 to France. However this was the last time after a quarter of the game where the score was that close. After too many technical mistakes GB had to go into a Halftime score of 7:21. Tom saying optimistically: “I hope they can pick it up again in the second Half”. Back on Court our GB Men started very well again, changing their defense and being able to fastbreak a couple of times.
We are in the 38th minute when a pretty random whistle stops Team GB´s Handball completely. Steven Larsson sees the red card for a rather debateable tackle on France´s Star Nikola Karabatic on mid court.
After that incident France´s Express Train was unstoppable. GB could not recover and wasn´t able to keep up the pace.
At this point it was Robin Garnham (6 Goals) who played a good game and the Goalkeepers Bobby White and Jesper Parker that were responsible for losing by less than 30 goals. What sounds incredible is a unfortunately a fact.
GB Men´s Handball lose against France 15:44. This is Handball. Technical Mistakes get punished immediately by a world class team like France is.
“Tough score at the end to start the competition, but I am sure Team GB will be able to perform better in the next games”. Says a hungarian fan who also watched GB play for the first time.
Let´s hope our Hungarian Friend is right and GB can come out stronger on the 31st July when their opponent will be Sweden. Let´s go GB.
TEXT: Simon Wittlin
PHOTOS: Nigel Farrow