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Iceland take on France for gold
22 Aug 2008 19:34 BST

Iceland will aim for their first ever Olympic gold when their men's handball team face France in Sunday's final.

It was a convincing display by the Icelandic team as they crushed Spain 36-30 in their semi-final.

In the other semi, France ended Croatia's hopes of defending the Olympic title for the first time with an entertaining and tense 25-23 win.

Spain play Croatia for the bronze medal from 0630 BST, followed by the final at 0845 BST.

Iceland have equalled their country's highest Olympic achievement by just making the final and the silver medal, which they are now guaranteed, matches a feat last achieved by their nation in the triple jump in 1956.

Iceland started the match strongly and raced to a 5-0 lead after only five minutes, and the Spanish struggled to recover for the rest of the match.

They led 17-15 at the break and with 10 minutes remaining, and Iceland having a healthy six-goal advantage, they cruised home to seal a memorable victory.

Icelandic pivot Robert Gunnarson said his team faced a tough match in the final.

"This means everything to us. It's just a dream. We deserve to be in the final, the way we have played," he said.

"We can't celebrate too much now, we've got to get ready for one last push."

It was a much tougher encounter for France, but now they have the opportunity to finally win gold, after they crashed out in Athens in the quarter-finals having been red-hot favourites.

"We've spent years getting ready for this but the game is not won yet," France's right winger Luc Abalo said.

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