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Preview: Dark horse Iceland to face in-form France in Beijing Olympic men's handball final German Spitz wins women's cross country mountain bike gold Factbox: Inna Osypenko-Radomska, gold medalist in women's kayak single (K1) 500m Ukrainian paddler claims title in women's kayak single (K1) 500mSpain wins men's kayak double (K2) 500m gold Beijing: Sunny 31-21°C
 
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Preview: Dark horse Iceland to face in-form France in Beijing Olympic men's handball final
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17:10, August 23, 2008

Giant killer Iceland will go all out for its first-ever Olympic gold while in-form France is resolved to fulfil its title collection in the final of men's handball event on Sunday afternoon at Beijing Olympic Games.

Having taken part in Olympic handball tournaments for five times, Iceland's best placing is the fourth in 1996 in Barcelona. The ninth finisher in 2004 Athens Games has already made history after they thrashed Spain 36-30 in the semifinal on Friday. The landmark victory ensured the Icelanders their first Olympic handball medal and gave them the chance to fight for the first-ever Olympic gold for the north European country.

First competing in the Olympic arena in 1908, the island country with a population of about 316,000 have only won one silver and two bronze medals in 18 Games. Sending 27 athletes to Beijing to compete in the athletics, badminton, handball, judo and swimming, Iceland has remained empty-handed so far.

Although taking the whole country's gold hope on the back, Icelandic coach Gudmundur Gudmundsson remained calm. "There will be no special pressure for us. We have played well in the Olympics and we deserve the final. It is not a coincidence. The chance (for a gold) is there, but we have to try our best to seize it."

Iceland has possessed a powerful attacking line, with their spearhead Snorri Steinn Gudjonsson topping the over-all scoring tally with 44 goals in seven games. The 27-year-old center back will pose great trouble to his opponent.

Meanwhile, France, fifth placer in Athens, is ready to meet the Icelanders' giant-killing feats. The European titlist in 2006 and world champion in 1995 and 2001 seek to perfect their title collection in Beijing.

Source: Xinhua

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