Handball: British men's world qualifying campaign ends with heavy loss


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The Independent Online

Great Britain's men finished their world championship qualification campaign with a heavy 40-24 defeat by Austria.

Having lost their previous three encounters in Group One, including the away leg against Austria on Thursday to a similarly hefty 37-22 scoreline, there was no hope of advancing into the play-offs going into the clash at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.

The British team did start strongly, but after the visitors levelled in the eighth minute there was no looking back and the Austrians surged into a 17-13 half-time lead.

A rampant beginning to the second period and player rotation from Great Britain ensured there would be no way back for the hosts.

The Austrians were inspired by Robert Weber, who scored an impressive 12 goals.

Martin Hare top-scored with six goals while Chris McDermott netted five for the British, who bow out of the competition.

Their thoughts will now turn to the handball event at this summer's Olympic Games, for which they have been handed a wildcard.