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Russia to face France for gold in women’s handball at the Olympics | Ap Sports

TOKYO (AP) – It’s a repeat of Rio in women’s handball.

The Russian team beat Norway by a goal in the semi-finals of the Tokyo Olympics on Friday to stage a gold medal match against France. This is exactly what happened five years ago at the Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Unlike 2016, this time around the Russians – now renamed ROC, short for Russian Olympic Committee – didn’t need extra hours to beat Norway, but it was tight in the 27-26 victory.

The Russians limited Norway’s scoring chances and took advantage of a capricious Norwegian shot to open a 22-16 lead with 18 minutes remaining, but Norway fought back to ensure a tense end to the game. Anna Vyakhireva scored nine goals for the Russians and Nora Mork was the top scorer with 10 goals for Norway. No other player has scored more than four.

This sets up a final on Sunday against France, the opponent Russia beat 22-19 for the gold medal in Rio. France had its semi-final match Friday 29-27 against Sweden with seven goals from Grace Zaadi Deuna.

“Now we know what to expect for the final because I think in Rio – and that’s no excuse – we were very happy because we were sure we had a medal. Now we are not like that, ”said Zaadi Deuna. “Here it was a goal for us to get the gold medal, and so we’re happy because it’s difficult, the way to get there, but we’re just focused on getting it. medal.”

France has a chance to be the first country to win both men’s and women’s handball tournaments at the same Olympics since Yugoslavia did so at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.

The French face Denmark in the final on Saturday. It is also a repeat of the 2016 final, won by Denmark.

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