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Loss to Croatia Wipes out Hopes for Olympics

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Loss to Croatia Wipes out Hopes for Olympics

Guðjón Valur Sigurðsson, captain of the Icelandic handball team.

Archive photo. Guðjón Valur Sigurðsson. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

The Icelandic men’s national handball team lost its game against Croatia 37:28 last night at the men’s EHF EURO 2016 in Katowice, Poland. The loss means the team is out of the EURO 2016 and its hopes of participating in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August are wiped out, Vísir reports. This will be the first time since 2000 that Iceland won’t compete in handball at the Olympics.

The loss could also make the team’s preliminaries for the 2017 World Men’s Handball Championship in France tougher, if, that is, it is placed among lower ranked nations when teams are matched.

This was the Icelandic team’s third game at the tournament: they beat Norway in their first game 26:25, but surprised fans by losing to Belarus 39:38 in the second game.

Last night’s game was a huge disappointment and embarrassment for the team. The first half was described by Vísir as one of Iceland’s worst in a long time. The team’s best player in the game, according to Vísir, was Guðjón Valur Sigurðsson.

“A great loss,” is how the team’s biggest star, Aron Pálmason, described the game. “How we played today was terrible and shameful,” he said.

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