Norway repeats as Olympic gold medalists, defeating Montenegro - an unlikely finalist, 26:23.
Back to back winners, Norway will be in position to tie Denmark’s record of 3 consecutive golds, in 2016 in Rio. This was the first handball medal for Montenegro. The country of 700,000 became independent in 2006. Norway’s Lin Sulland scored 10 times but was cancelled out by Montenegro’s Katarina Bulatovic. But despite an inspired performance from Montenegro's goalkeeper Sonja Barjaktarovic, Norway’s perimeter game was a lot more incisive. 13 to 7.
Spain and South Korea met earlier in the day to decide the bronze winner. Spain upset the Asian champions 31:29.
The see-saw affair went into extra time, where both team continued to match each other stride for stride. Spain pulled away late and secured their first ever Olympic women handball medal. The loss kept South Korea off the podium for only the second time only in 32 years. South Korea will be sure to point fingers at the Danish officials who allowed Spain to get away with some flagrant and rather obvious fouls. Yet missing 4 of 5 penalty shots in a bronze medal game will not win the Koreans any sympathy.
South Korea can take solace in the fact that they were a fan favorite throughout the tournament, for practicing a fast paced and highly skilled style of handball.
Final medal round standings.