La France a pris d'assaut sa deuxième finale olympique consécutive de handball féminin avec une victoire 29-27 sur la Suède vendredi pour organiser un match revanche contre les Russes, qui ont battu la Norvège 27-26 en demi-finale au stade national de Yoyogi. </p><div> <p>La France a présenté une performance défensive disciplinée pour neutraliser l'attaque de la Suède lors des quatre derniers affrontements et les finalistes de 2016 ont roulé sur les sept buts de l'arrière centrale de Rostov-Don Grace Zaadi pour assurer la victoire.
It was a disappointing outing for Sweden who made their first appearance in the semi-finals and were pivotless Linn Blohm late in the game after the 29-year-old was given a red card for three two-minute suspensions.
The victory meant the women of France emulated the men’s team by reaching shock for the gold medal and setting up a meeting with the defending champions.
The men’s team – the eponymous “The Experts” – will face defending champions Denmark on Saturday in hopes of improving their silver medal from five years ago.
The handball twin finals will mark part of an exciting climax for France in team sports at the Olympics, including what promises to be a dramatic rematch with the United States in men’s basketball, and another gold medal showdown with the Russian Olympic Committee in men’s indoor volleyball. .
The French women’s basketball team will also challenge Serbia for bronze on Saturday, following a disappointing loss to Japan in the semi-finals.
Rematch with Russia
In handball, women have the task of erasing the painful memories of their defeat against Russian women.
“I remember I was very disappointed and hurt that we weren’t successful because you never know if we’ll have another chance,” said French center-back Allison Pineau.
“I hope to be here on Sunday with a smile (after the final). “
“To think that for the second time in a row I will play a final at the Olympics is a great feeling. It was our goal from the start. The trip so far has been quite difficult because it is the Olympics and we were in a very difficult group.
The Russians, competing as representatives of their National Olympic Committee ROC without their flag or anthem due to anti-doping sanctions, overcame left-back Anna Sen’s sacking for a foul to complete the first half against Norway in the lead 14-11.
Two-time Olympic champion Norway pushed the Russians to the brink when they last met at the Games in the Rio semi-finals before losing in overtime and the Scandinavians made another comeback by closing the gap to two goals two minutes from time.
But the Russians came under waves of pressure in the dying seconds to hang on to the win and stay on track to retain their title.
Norway will face Sweden for the bronze medal.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)