Russia outguns France to claim third straight world title at women's handball worlds

14:58, December 21, 2009      

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Russia defeated France 25-22 in the final of 2009 women's handball World Championship here on Sunday, claiming three world titles in a row since 2005.

The two teams have won all the titles of the previous four biyearly worlds, with Russia winning the trophy in 2001, 2005 and 2007 while France cruising to the highest podium in 2003. And the two sides also encountered in the main round stage last Sunday, when France outscored Russia 24-23 to seize the first place in Group One.

However, the reigning champion refused to give France another victory in the final. Ekaterina Andryushina's opening goal in the first minute handed Russia the lead from the very beginning of the game. Although France fought back to earn a 6-4 lead later, Russia surged a 4-0 spurt in three minutes to restore the advantage and maintained the lead for the rest of the game.

After trailing 11-14 in the first half, France still failed to tie the score in the second half. Left back Mariama Signate and center back Allison Pineau, both selected in the All-star squad of the tournament, hurled in 8 and 6 points respectively, but they did not receive enough assist from their teammates. Merely 5 French players earned scores in the game, while 9 Russian players signed their name on the scoring list, with winger Elena Dmitrieva throwing in 8 points to lead the team.

The gold medallist in Beijing Games Norway downed Spain 31-26 to take the third place in a game played earlier. The Norwegians enjoyed an 8-0 run in the middle part of the first half to build the winning margin, leading 15-9 by the interval. Marit Malm Frafjord scored 7 points to secure Norway's triumph.

Source: Xinhua
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