British men's Olympics handballers lose again

Great Britain men’s handball player Ciaran Williams believes that while they have not yet won a game at the London 2012 Olympics they were successful.

Eurosport

The 24-year-old playmaker was part of the side that fell 34-17 to Tunisia in the early throw off at the Copper Box in front of yet another passionate crowd.

And Williams, whose parents both played for Great Britain in the 1980s, believes the public’s positive reaction to the sport was part of the plan in creating a legacy.

“We weren't here to make up the numbers – we wanted to give something to the public,” said Williams, who plays for Salford.

“That's where the legacy side of things comes into it and one part of our dream has been achieved.

“Their reaction doesn't surprise me at all. We knew once we showcased it to the British public they would take to it as it is fast, with lots of goals and big hits.

"I think the public can see the passion, the 'Brit-grit' as they call it, and this is all we wanted.

“After we put all our emotion and every bit of work into the Argentina game it was hard to raise ourselves. It was early morning as well, which is never nice.

"All of our matches have just come down to experience and whether we are losing by 10, 15 or 25 goals we are making teams work for their victories and we give it everything."

In a physical contest, with Great Britain’s Chris McDermott being penalised twice in the first ten minutes, it was a tight opening before Tunisia opened a 4-1 lead.

The tough Tunisians outmuscled Team GB and proved to be a team light on their feet as they stretched to a 7-3 lead after 15 minutes.

With an early start of 9.30am affecting the players, they couldn’t match Tunisia, despite the support of a packed “Box that Rocks” and found themselves 14-8 down at the break.

It was same again in the second period as Tunisia kept up their double lead, but Great Britain were starting to finish their chances when one-on-one.

Dragan Djukic’s team were playing for pride, and their commitment was not in doubt, but Tunisia’s fast-ball play and efficiency in shooting meant they were always comfortable.

Team GB kept plugging away until the end, but were not able to round off their debut Olympic campaign with a win.

Djukic was honest in his assessment of his side’s latest defeat, but wants them to go out on a high against Iceland in their last Olympic match – as well as his own as Great Britain’s coach before joining Israel.

He said: "We fought enough but we made too many collective mistakes and lacked concentration at times. Tunisia is a very good team and punished us.

"It was very difficult after the Argentina defeat because the team had put so much into that game and we were very disappointed.

“They were physically and mentally drained after that game and it was very tough to get back up for this one.

"It is the last chance for the team to play against a top handball team in Iceland in such a great arena and in front of fanatical supporters who have been tremendous throughout."

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