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Norway to defend women's handball title vs. Montenegro

London, England (Sports Network) - Norway moved a step closer toward defending its Olympic gold medal in women's handball Thursday, when it defeated South Korea in the semifinals.

Heidi Loke scored eight goals and Kristine Lunde-Borgersen added six in the 31-25 victory, which put Norway into Saturday's gold medal match. It will face Montenegro, which held off Spain by a 27-26 margin on Thursday.

Norway had some trouble getting into the knockout stage, going 2-2-1 and finishing fourth in Group B. But the defending champions and reigning world titlists appear to be back on track.

Montenegro earned a chance to play for gold, but only after holding off a late charge.

Milena Knezevic's goal in the 58th minute put Montenegro ahead 27-23, but Spain tallied three quick goals -- including two from Elisabeth Pinedo Saenz. However, Pinedo Saenz's team ran out of time.

The loss put Spain in Saturday's bronze medal match against South Korea.

08/09 17:54:22 ET

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