Handball: France defeat Sweden in nervy final

Sweden 21 France 22

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The Independent Online

France have written themselves into the history books after becoming the first country to retain the Olympic title in men's handball following a nervy one-goal victory in the final against Sweden.

Les Bleus, who won gold in Beijing four years ago and are also reigning world champions, survived a late Scandinavian comeback to cement their place as the greatest team of all time.

The win, which was soundtracked by constant raucous offerings of 'Allez Les Bleus' from an army of travelling France supporters, was built on a rigid and powerful defence while Michael Guigou was the hero at the other end, throwing in five goals.

For Sweden, while silver represents a success having no sizeable pre-tournament expectations, it was the fourth time they have taken second spot on the Olympic podium as their wait for an elusive gold medal continues.

It was just not their day today as they found life tough against the French defence, though six goals from Niklas Ekberg took him to 50 for the tournament as they pushed the champions all the way.