Spain entered the semi-finals in handball at the Beijing Olympics yesterday with a victory over South Korea. Iceland, which beat Poland yesterday morning, will thus play against Spain on Friday and fight them for a medal.
Iceland’s presidential couple, President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson and First Lady Dorrit Moussaieff watched Iceland play yesterday and greeted the Icelandic handball players with hugs and kisses after their victory over Poland, Morgunbladid reports.
So far this year, the Icelandic and Spanish handball teams have played against each other five times. Spain won four out of five games and Iceland only one, so Spain will prove a challenging opponent.
“I think they [Spain] are playing more confidently, both in offense and defense. They have improved little by little but we must be able to find a way to tackle them,” Iceland’s coach Gudmundur Gudmundsson told reporters yesterday, anticipating a sleepless night of preparation for Friday’s game.
Iceland’s long-standing handball enemy, its former colonial power Denmark, lost against Croatia yesterday and did not make it to the semi-finals. Iceland and Denmark tied earlier in the competition, which secured Iceland a place in the quarter-finals.
The fourth nation that made it to the semi-finals was France, who beat Russia after a difficult game. Many predict that France will take home the gold in handball.
Click here to read more about Iceland’s game against Poland.