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Denmark Women Win Handball

AP Sports Writer
Saturday, August 3, 1996 7:32 pm EDT

ATLANTA -- Denmark rallied to force overtime, then won the women's handball gold medal in its first Olympic appearance, defeating two-time defending champion South Korea 37-33 Saturday.

The South Koreans won their first four games by an average of nine goals, and they took a six-goal lead in the first half in a bid to repeat their gold-medal performances of 1988 and 1992.

But the Danish team fought back to tie at the end of regulation 29-29, then blitzed South Korea in overtime as Heidi Astrup scored three of her five goals in the two five-minute extra periods. Anja Jul Andersen led Denmark (5-0) with 11 goals.

Lim O-kyeong scored 15 goals for South Korea, giving her an Olympics-leading 41.

In the bronze-medal game, goalie Aniko Meksz made a key last-minute save on a penalty shot, enabling Hungary to defeat Norway 20-18.

Denmark trailed by four at halftime, then closed within two goals on five occasions before Andersen and Gitte Madsen scored to tie it 23-23 with 11:20 left in regulation. Less than three minutes later, Anette Hoffman gave Denmark its first lead of the game, 25-24.

South Korea scored three consecutive goals for a 27-25 edge, but Denmark rallied again to tie it at 28 and 29, the last on a goal by Camilla Andersen with 1:15 left. Denmark goalie Susanne Lauritsen saved a shot by South Korea before Anja Jul Andersen's 7-meter penalty shot was saved by Oh Yong-ran.

Denmark scored the first three goals of overtime, and three straight by Astrup gave the Danish team a 36-31 advantage with three minutes left.

South Korea got eight first-half goals from Lim, five of them during a 6-3 burst that extended a 10-7 lead to the Koreans' largest of the game, 16-10. The half ended with Denmark trailing 17-13.

Earlier, a 5-0 burst during which Beata Siti and Helga Nemeth scored twice, took Hungary, which trailed most of the game, from a 15-14 deficit to a 19-15 lead with 2:36 left in the game. But Norway, which won silver medals in the previous two Olympics, scored twice to close the deficit to 19-17.

Kjersti Grini, who finished the Olympics with 39 goals, including eight on Saturday, stepped to the penalty line hoping to bring Norway within one. Grini was 5-for-5 on penalty shots before then, but Meksz stopped this one with 57 seconds left, and Hungary captain Erzsebet Kocsis scored with 15 seconds remaining to clinch the victory.

Kocsis was one of four Hungarian players to finish with three goals.

Norway scored the first three goals of the game, but Hungary outscored the Norwegians 6-2 for a 6-5 lead on Aniko Nagy's breakaway goal with 7:04 left.

Three goals by Grini gave Norway the lead back at 8-7, and it took a 9-7 advantage at halftime.

© Copyright 1996 The Associated Press

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