Favourites through to the medal rounds at Tokyo 2020Article
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DAY REVIEW: Three pre-tournament favourites and surprise-package Sweden progressed to the women’s semi-finals

A series of outstanding goalkeeper performances was the theme of the day in the women’s quarter-finals at Tokyo 2020 as four European sides progressed to Friday’s semi-finals.

Montenegro vs ROC 26:32 (15:17)

  • outstanding performances by Montenegro’s Jovanka Radicevic (10 goals) and Djurdjina Jaukovic (8 goals) were not enough to avoid defeat against the ever-improving Russian Olympic Committee
  • after a high-scoring first half, Russia clamped down in defence in the second period with Anna Sedoykina making 13 saves at 38 per cent
  • 2016 MVP Anna Vyakhireva continues to shine as the tournament progresses, scoring eight and making six assists against Montenegro

Norway vs Hungary 26:22 (12:10)

  • having made a late bid to reach the knockout stages, Hungary were not about to go out without a fight against the unbeaten Norwegians
  • a bright start buoyed the young Hungarian side, who thrived in the low scoring battle and led midway through the second half
  • but in came Katrine Lunde to turn the game on its head with five saves in the final quarter, to power Norway to a four-goal victory and their fourth consecutive Olympic semi-final

Sweden vs South Korea 39:30 (21:13)

  • Sweden’s remarkable run at Tokyo 2020 continued with one of their best performances to date, earning them a spot in the semi-finals of the women’s competition for the first time
  • The Scandinavian’s dynamic defence and outstanding goalkeeping by Johanna Bundsen left South Korea flummoxed – with their leading light Eun Hee Ryu reduced to a single goal
  • Carin Stromberg, Linn Blohm and Jamina Roberts fired in six goals each, leading a well-rounded team effort

France vs Netherlands 32:22 (19:11)

  • 2016 silver medallists France hit top gear when it mattered most, putting a rocky group phase behind them to outclass the Netherlands
  • it went from bad to worse for the Dutch as a poor start was compounded by an injury to their top scorer Lois Abbingh
  • although Netherlands enjoyed some purple patches, they never really looked like threatening France, who were led from the back with Amandine Leynaud making a ridiculously good 22 saves at 51 per cent.

Semi-finals – 6 August

France vs Sweden (10:00 CEST)
Norway vs ROC (14:00 CEST)

Detailed results and schedules are available on the official Olympics homepage.

All Tokyo 2020 photos courtesy of IHF.

TEXT: European Handball Federation