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Page last updated at 21:28 GMT, Sunday, 5 December 2010

Great Britain crash out of World Handball Championships

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Video: British handball hoping for breakthrough in 2011 (UK users only)

Great Britain's women failed to qualify for the next stage of the 2011 World Championships after a comprehensive 32-17 loss to hosts Poland in Lublin.

With only the group winner progressing, Slovakia's draw with Austria had given GB a chance to advance.

But GB could not follow up their wins over pre-tournament favourites Slovakia and Cyprus as they were outclassed by Poland, who won the five-team event.

"Poland were a completely different level," said GB coach Jesper Holmris.

Britain finished third in the tournament, a result which remains their best-ever performance at an event of this stature despite Sunday's defeat.

Zoe Van De Weel and Kathryn Fudge both notched three goals for GB while goalkeeper Sarah Hargreaves was voted player of the match.

But Holmris rued his side's early profligacy and admitted they were also found wanting for fitness.

Sarah Hargreaves (rear)
Goalkeeper Hargreaves was voted player of the match

"We played OK, but we should have converted more of our chances," Holmris added.

"When Poland were 7-2 ahead, we had just as many chances and it should've been 7-7, but we wasted too many.

"Physically we were struggling a bit, and seeing them play they were obviously going to win the group. They were very strong.

"But overall the tournament has been fantastic for us, and our performance against Slovakia was awesome, and really shows what we can achieve and how far we've come."

Earlier in the week, Great Britain defeated Cyprus 39-20 after they had earlier shocked the Slovakians 27-26 thanks to a last-minute Fudge winner.

On Wednesday, GB began the tournament - one of four qualifying events - with a 30-20 loss to Austria.

A second stage of qualifying will take place to determine the line-up of the 24-team world finals which will be held in Brazil from 3-18 December, 2011.

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see also
GB handball team fail in Euro bid
04 Apr 10 |  Handball
Towards 2012: Dekan does Handball
29 Nov 10 |  2012
Guide to handball
22 Jan 09 |  Olympics

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