Sweden hope for fourth time lucky in handball
Posted: Wednesday August 4, 2004 9:20PM; Updated: Wednesday August 4, 2004 9:20PM
ATHENS, Aug 5 (Reuters) -- A sport dominated by European teams, handball has been a source of tears for Sweden at the last three Olympics.
The Swedish men's team reached the final in Sydney, Atlanta and Barcelona, and lost each time -- in 2000 they led the Russians 16-14 before losing 28-26.
Sweden were the men's world champions in 1999 and losing world finalists in 2001 to France. The French were third behind champions Croatia and Germany at last year's worlds.
Croatia won the 1996 Olympic gold, the country's first since the break-up of Yugoslavia.
In the women's competition, which has 10 teams compared with 12 in the men's, Denmark have won the Olympic title at the last two Games.
In 1996 they beat holders South Korea in extra time in one of the great matches in the sport's history. In Sydney, Hungary picked up the silver.
Hungary lost the 2003 world championship final to France.
Competition in Athens begins on August 14 and both finals will be played on August 29 at the Hellenikon Olympic Complex.
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