The Slovenia Times

Slovenian women's handball team earn first Olympic berth

The Slovenian women's handball team. Photo: Handball Association of Slovenia

The Slovenian women's handball team has qualified for the Summer Olympic Games in Paris in a historic first for the country's women athletes in team sports.

Slovenia secured the ticket by defeating Montenegro 30:26 in the last match of a qualifying tournament in Germany's Neu-Ulm on 14 April.

At the tournament Slovenia first lost to Germany 25:31 on 11 April, but then bounced back to defeat Paraguay 32:14 on 13 April and stay in play for the Olympics ahead of the decisive matchup with Montenegro.

Only a week ago, the team qualified for this year's European Handball Championship with a win against Italy to finish second in their group.

In the tough match against Montenegro, Slovenia were led by captain Ana Gros and Tjaša Stanko with seven goals each to earn the first Olympics appearance for any women's team sports squad in the nation's history.

Being in the lead from the start to the end of the game, they will be joining the men's handball team in Paris, who earned their Olympic berth nearly a month ago.

"I am lost for words, overwhelmed with emotion. I am so proud of this team. It showed what kind of team we are," team captain Ana Gros told Val 202 radio station.

"Since Dragan (Adžić) took over as head coach he has opened up this possibility in our eyes that we can succeed. The possibility turned out to be very real. We fought to the very end, thank you everyone who believed in us," Gros added.

"We have made history, you can see how happy we all are ... Up until the 58th minute we didn't celebrate, but now we can as much as we want. We are going to Paris together and that is the most important thing!" Stanko said.


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