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Coach cheerful despite GB handball loss

August 3, 2012 13:21 pm

Members of the Great Britain women's handball team were inconsolable after they suffered a 31-25 defeat to Angola, but coach Jesper Holmris insists they should be proud of their effort.

Losses to Montenegro, Russia and Brazil in their opening three matches were expected for a team only formed six years ago, but they went into Friday morning's encounter with realistic hopes of beating the African champions, having done exactly that in the Copper Box in November's test event.

But Angola have improved considerably since then and Team GB were unable to replicate their performance of nine months ago, though they did produce a display to be proud of in parts, with nine-goal Marie Gerbron top-scoring.

Losing by such a margin to the number-eight ranked team in the world is nothing to be ashamed of, but some players in the Team GB squad were in streams of tears at the final whistle.

But Danish tactician Holmris tried to instil a bit of realism.

"Before the tournament we thought we were a bit closer to Angola, we knew they had improved since we beat them in November but they have obviously stepped up and prepared for this Olympics," he told Press Association Sport.

"We are losing by six goals to the number eight team in the world so we should be really proud of this, having only had a few years of practice. But we thought we could have upset them.

"We missed a few 100 per cent chances but we scored 25 goals which should be enough to beat Angola. We know we don't have the skills and the shooters that the other teams have so we cannot score 31 goals.

"It means a lot and we wanted this win so badly, but that is just the attitude of the players, they are so passionate and this is what gives us our fighting spirit. We knew we had a better chance against Angola and that's why the girls are upset."

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