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France wins handball gold

Beijing, China (Sports Network) - France won its first-ever gold medal in handball, taking the men's competition at the Beijing Olympics with a 28-23 victory over Iceland on Sunday.

Bertrand Gille led France with five goals, while Cedric Burdet and Luc Abalo each added four markers. Prior to this gold, the French won their handball medal, on the men's and women's side, with a bronze at the 1992 Barcelona Games.

Iceland, meanwhile, was trying for its first-ever gold medal at an Olympics, winter or summer, and couldn't change that in Beijing. Olafur Stefansson scored five goals to lead Iceland, while Arnor Atlason added four tallies.

The Icelanders held just one lead in Sunday's game, going ahead, 3-2, nine minutes into the first half. However, France scored seven of the next eight goals and eventually carried a 15-10 lead into halftime.

The French led by as many as nine on a few occasions in the second half en route to the gold medal win.

Earlier on Sunday, Spain won the bronze medal match, posting a 35-29 victory over Croatia, the gold medalists from the Athens Games. The Croatians lost to France in the semifinals to end their chances of becoming the first country to repeat as Olympic champions in men's handball.

08/24 05:38:38 ET


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