Tokyo Olympics: Egypt just miss out on handball bronze

4 months ago 3246
Egypt's pivot Mohamed Mamdouh Shebib reacts after being defeated by Spain at the end of the men's bronze medal handball matchMohamed Mamdouh Shebib cannot hold back his emotions after Egypt's narrow defeat

Egypt's handball team just missed out on a bronze medal after losing 33-31 to Spain in Tokyo on Saturday.

Egypt trailed by one goal with just 34 seconds left, only for the Spaniards to score again with seven seconds to play to finally settle a pulsating tie.

The first African team to have ever contested an Olympic handball semi-final, Egypt - who went behind in the opening stages - briefly led between the 7th and 11th minutes after which Spain never trailed again.

Yet the Europeans could never stretch clear as Egypt continually responded to going behind by repeatedly drawing level as they dug deep.

With six minutes left, the scores were level at 28-all but Egypt, who lost to France in the semi-finals, were unable to edge ahead despite their valiant efforts.

"I'm sure this is not the last time you will see us in the semi-final," Egypt's Yahia Omar had said prior to the game. "I feel that this will be our level for the next few years.

"We have a lot of young players who will show much more - I'm sure this is just the start for our team. We are so much bigger than just a national team. We're friends outside and I really love (my team-mates) so much."

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