In the end Sweden came up short. King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia saw their country men narrowing the gap in the olympic handball final to a single goals three times, three times the French pulled away. Four year after winning its first Olympic gold, France's men's handball team did it again Sunday, but endured a tense second half on its way to the 22-21 victory.
The result was the first time that a male handball team has won back-to-back gold medals. "I have lived the best day of my life," defender Jerome Fernandez said. The Swedes could take little consolation in the fact they won once again silver, after already losing out on gold in 1992, 1996 and 2000.
"We wanted to get the gold, but have to make do with silver. This is life, and we have to keep smiling and celebrate doing so well at these Olympics," Swedish coach Staffan Olsson said. "The players were so tired at the end but kept trying, and nearly snatched the tie or better. So I cannot ask for any more from them."© GPD AP;
For an earlier picture of the impact of the royal support: Noisy King Carl Gustaf