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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | TEAM HANDBALL

U.S. Women Perfect With Loss to China

July 31, 1996|Times Wire Services

In a game that had nothing to do with medals, the U.S. women's handball team finished winless in its round-robin pool, falling, 31-21, to China in a game Coach Claes Hellgren said the Americans should have won.

The U.S. (0-3) fell behind by as many as seven goals in the first half and never caught up, despite closing to within 16-11 at halftime. China (1-2) started the second half with a 5-1 burst that included three goals by Zhai Chao, who finished with 10.

The United States got no closer than seven goals after that.

"We got into their way of playing, which is too fast, and we couldn't stop them," Hellgren said. "We're disappointed because this was a game we could win. We needed to slow it down. You have to wait beyond your first opportunity on each possession. We needed more passes."

Chryssandra Hires scored six goals and Toni Jameson five for the United States, which will face Angola, also 0-3, for seventh place on Thursday.

In Tuesday's other women's games, Germany beat Angola, 27-12; Denmark defeated Hungary, 27-22; and Korea edged Norway, 25-21. Korea and Denmark, both 3-0, plus Norway and Hungary, both 2-1, already had clinched berths in the medal round.

Lim O-Kyeong scored nine goals in Korea's victory over Norway in a battle of unbeatens, and Camilla Andersen had seven goals for Denmark against Hungary in another game matching teams with 2-0 records going in.

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