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Date: 8/12/2012

Some surprises, but the same Olympic champion as 2008 in Beijing: Despite a weak start in the preliminary round with only two victories in five matches, Norway topped the podium again in the women’s handball competition of the 2012 London Olympic Games.

The current Olympic, World and European champions were the lucky, but deserved winner, of the final against Montenegro, the first debutant since 1996 (Denmark), who reached the gold medal match. In the end the stronger will and ten goals of Linn SULLAND (NOR) were the keys to win the final 26-23 (13-10) against the brave fighting Balkan team including their ten times final scorer Katarina BULATOVIC (MNE).

Before, Spain like Montenegro had won their first ever women's handball medal at Olympic Games. But it took the Iberians two extra-times to beat 2008 bronze medallist Korea 31-29 (13:13, 24-24, 28-28). 

Korea missed a medal for the second time at their eighth appearance at Olympic Games.
Montenegro, the biggest surprise of the women’s handball competition, had beaten Spain in a highly close semifinal 27-26, while Norway did not have any problems in taking the win against Korea in the re-match of the 2008 semifinal 31-25.

Two major medal contenders had to give up their hopes in the quarterfinals already. Four-time world champion and Beijing 2008 semifinalists Russia lost against Korea, while world championship runners-up France was shocked by a last-second goal of BULATOVIC, who finally became top scorer of the competition with 53 goals ahead of her teammate Bojana POPOVIC (MNE), who scored 46 times and finished her international career with this final.
Korean JU Hui was the best goalkeeper with 99 saves, ahead of Silvia NAVARRO (ESP) with 96 saves.

The biggest surprises of the preliminary round were the eliminations of two Scandinavian top teams. Three-time Olympic champion Denmark and Sweden, runners-up of the 2010 European championship, missed the quarterfinals.

And both group winners of the preliminary round missed the semifinals, as France was eliminated by Montenegro and Brazil lost their quarterfinal highly unlucky against Norway. Both later-on finalists had finished the preliminary round only fourth ranked after only two victories each.