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Date: 5/26/2012

It took only two match days, before the Women’s Olympic Qualification tournament in Lyon, France, had been decided: After their each second victories host France and Montenegro have qualified for the Olympics. Whilst France booked the Olympic ticket for the fourth straight time since 2000, Montenegro is the first time under the five Olympic rings.


Romania vs. Montenegro 23:34 (13:17)

Historic day for Montenegro: Two weeks after the nearly identical team has won the EHF Champions League with Buducnost Podgorica now they made their way to London.  After beating Japan on Match Day 1, the victory against Romania meant the first ever qualification for an Olympic Handball Tournament for the small Balkan country.

Again back court aces Bojana Popovic and Katarina Bulatovic were the keys to success, scoring 13 goals in total. Five Bulatovic goals paved the way to the 12:5 lead after only 16 minutes and though the Romanians could reduce the gap to four goals at the break, they were chanceless in the second half. It took only 38 minutes when the game was decided and the Romanian dream of reaching the Olympic Games at the score of 24:15. Again goalkeeper Sonja Barjaktarovic stood like a wall with 15 saves – and latest in the middle of the second half the Romanian resistance was broken – and the decisive game ended as a disaster for the team of Radu Voina, whilst the Montenegro team jumped for joy.


Japan vs. France 17:30 (7:13)

Easy work for France to book their ticket to London: After the more decisive victory against Romania on Friday the host did not have any problems to overrun Japan. After 24 minutes the winner was already known when the score was 12:3. Though Nippon’s girls had a strong period before the break, France was in full control and extended the gap to ten goals at 20:10 for the first time. So the French team – cheered by 4200 spectators – could save powers for the final game for the tournament victory against Montenegro. Paule Baudoin was the top scorer with seven goals for an again well-balanced team with an again superb goalkeeper: Cleopatre Darleux saved 19 Japanese shots.


Results of Day 1:

Montenegro vs. Japan 30:24 (14:13)

France vs. Romania 24:19 (12:9)


Match schedule day 3, 27 May:

14:15: Romania vs. Japan

16:30: France vs. Montenegro