Denmark's Trine Troelsen tries to score as Angola's Nair Almeida, right, defends during their Women's Handball World Championship match in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, Dec. We use cookies to enhance your visit to our site and to bring you advertisements that might interest you. The Copper Box arena was heaving, the press conference descended into something of a scrum after Brazil and Croatia had contested a 24-23 humdinger and by last night there was even a bit of a controversy brewing over the Brazilian women’s tight, flowery shorts.
The Brazilian national handball team won the IHF Women's World Handball Championship after defeating host Serbia 22-20 in a thrilling final last night in Belgrade. The Brazilian girls kept their composure despite 20,000 mainly Serbian supporters packed into the Kombank Arena piling on the pressure - especially when Serbia leveled with only two minutes remaining. In claiming the crown, Brazil became the second non-European team to take the championship title after South Korea broke the European winning streak nearly 20 years ago.
One of the most pleasant surprises of the tournament was the Serbian national team's first-ever silver medal. Brazil have won both titles at the fifth Men's and Women's Beach Handball World Championships 2012 at the Musannah Sports City. Brazil showed their mettle just when it mattered most, defeating the strong contender Ukraine 2:1 in the final match of the men's event.

In the second half, Brazil clawed their way back into the game like true champions, winning 18:15 to ensure the match went to penalties.
The Brazilian women cast a spell on their opponents Denmark in the final, winning 2:0 and taking home the all-important title.
Timea Toth of Hungary tackles Eduarda Amorim of Brazil during the Women's Handball Preliminaries Group B match between Brazil and Hungary at the Olympic Sports Center Gymnasium on Day 3 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 11, 2008 in Beijing, China. Both national teams reached the IHF Women's World Handball Championship final for the first time. The gold medal  is a huge boost for Brazilian handball ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. In the final, the Serbian girls put up a strong fight until the end, but Brazil was better.
Handball, which gets a reference in Homer's Odyssey and, apparently, some recognition in a third century bronze statuette found in Greek ruins at Dodoni, is an obsession in northern Europe, growing rapidly in Brazil and Korea, but so obscure that Britain has had to build a team from scratch in five years The rules essentially allow a small, leather ball of 60cm circumference to be propelled across a court by any part of a player’s body which is above the knee, to be held for a maximum of three seconds, and for a maximum of three steps to be taken while holding it. Naturally, it’s not quite as simple and benign as that, as the women of Denmark, who invented the sport, proved in their ecstatic response yesterday afternoon to a 21-18 win over fierce rivals Sweden. Large parts of northern Europe viewed that game as must-see event. The Croatian coach, whose side play Britain in a week or so, was not concerned enough by such a prospect, to be able to name a single member of that squad, when challenged to do so by the Independent on Sunday yesterday, though his Brazil counterpart Morten Subak was acutely aware that Kelsi Fairbrother has just signed for one of the leading Danish sides, Viborg.

For the good of the sport, we need to get handball stronger in the English-speaking countries of the world.” Fairbrother is not the only link to the game’s inventors in the British side, whose tournament began yesterday evening against Montenegro, another newcomer to Olympic competition. The coach, Jesper Holmris, is a Dane and when he took on this role in 2008 his strategy was to find any British or half-British women in other countries, who had any background with playing handball.
One of those is Britt Goodwin, who had the professional football career of her father, Steve Goodwin, to thank for her place in last night's British team. Goodwin snr’s largely journeyman’s career – the one claim to fame was scoring twice against Sheffield United to help Norwich City to the 1975 League Cup final – saw him wind up at Gjovik, in Norway, where they also know their handball - enough to be reigning world champions, in fact.
His daughter applied for a place on the Norwegian version of Big Brother, looking for “a bit of fun,” as she puts it, but ended up winning ?100,000, which she has used to train full-time. The journey from nothing to Olympians in the space of five years also involved launching a talent contest for which there were 5,000 applicants. There were some drop-outs when the chosen men and women were told that they were being hauled to centralised training base at a Danish sports college, Arhus Hojskole.
But after her superb performance in Brazil’s win yesterday, which included some Bruce Grobbelaar antics during penalty shots, goalkeeper Chana Masson said that other countries can challenge the Scandinavian stranglehold.

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