Olympics handball: France beat Sweden to retain title

France made history by staging a successful defence of their Olympic handball title with a tense victory over Sweden in the final.

The reigning world champions, who beat Iceland 28-23 in 2008, edged Sweden 22-21 to become the first country to win gold at consecutive Games.

Croatia won bronze after a comfortable victory 33-26 over Hungary.

Analysis

Paul Bray, BBC Sport

"The crowd were on their feet at the end with French flags waving, but so were Swedish ones because it was a huge achievement for a team not expected to make it through."

Slavko Goluza's side move up to joint top in the all-time list of medal winners with three.

France were pushed all the way for their win as Sweden staged a late comeback.

However, a strong defensive display, led by former world player of the year Thierry Omeyer, ensured France did enough to take gold.

Omeyer was the matchwinner in the semi-final against eventual bronze medallists Croatia.

He was again on form in goal against Sweden, producing a string of saves to frustrate the Scandinavians.

Sweden's Niclas Ekberg was the tournament golden arm, after his six strikes against France lifted him one above Croatian Ivan Cupic.

Afterwards, France celebrated victory in the medal ceremony by stepping onto the podium and performing Usain Bolt's 'Lightning Bolt' pose.

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