Russian rout displeases GB coach Holmris

30 July 2012 / 18:41

Great Britain's women's handball coach Jesper Holmris expressed his disappointment after a 37-16 defeat to European powerhouses Russia in the Copper Box.

While a loss to the former world champions, who are contenders for a podium finish in the tournament, was always on the cards, the manner and scoreline of it was perhaps worse than Team GB had accounted for.

Having played so well against another strong side in Montenegro on their Olympic Games debut on Saturday, Holmris' women were unable to match that level of performance and a 21-goal deficit represents a heavy loss.

It was a particularly disappointing defeat as they have come up against the Russians twice in the last 10 months and were beaten by considerably fewer goals on each occasion, with Holmris left to rue not having the element of surprise.

"Russia gave 100% for 60 minutes and it's great to play against the very best," he told Press Association Sport. "But we had a few players who had an off day and weren't quite up to speed and we can't handle teams like Russia if we are not at 100%.

"It's an advantage for Russia to have played us twice before because they knew what to expect, they weren't surprised and had prepared well.

"They knew our moves in attack so it was hard for us. We knew we couldn't win but we just wanted to give them a hard time and we did in short spells but I was a little bit disappointed. But the Russians are just a super power and they can definitely get a medal."

One of the major problems Team GB faced was the sheer size and brute force of the Russian side, who towered over their hosts, with their biggest player standing a foot taller than GB's smallest and the heaviest weighing more than 20kg more.

And Holmris is hoping the surge of interest in the game in Britain due to the Games will help them find players with better physical attributes.

"Two days ago after the game against Montenegro there was a handball club in Leeds that got 7,000 requests on how to join and 1.3million viewers on the BBC and we have 60 million people living in this country so we will find girls like the Russians," Holmris added.

"We need people to invest in our sport and be given time to prepare the players, it won't be done in a couple of years it will be done in eight or 10 years."