Future uncertain as women's handball team exit Olympics

Britain women’s handball team have admitted they face an uncertain future after bringing their London 2012 Olympic Games to a close.

Eurosport

They lost 34-17 to Croatia in the Copper Box, putting in another gritty and hardworking performance, aside from a ten-minute period wihtout scoring in the first-half.

But line player Louise Jukes believes that the future of the sport will be based on funding – and how they replace retiring stars Lynn McCafferty and Lyn Byl.

“It depends on funding and sponsorships,” said the 28-year-old.

“We're hoping that we've inspired a few kids and a few adults as well.

"It's disappointing that we didn't come closer. The challenge was always difficult – they scored a lot of fast break goals.

"Every game was a challenge, mentally and physically, and we’re exhausted, but it's amazing. I can't put it into words. I would never have dreamed it would be this good.”

Great Britain made a solid start – restricting Croatia to just seven goals in the first 14 minutes while taking their own chances.

But Croatia soon established control of the game when they scored ten goals in 16 minutes without reply as Great Britain crumbled under pressure.

However, Team GB were not able to take advantage of Croatia’s two-minute suspensions, and fell even further behind with two-thirds of the second period gone.

The Olympic adventure eventually came to an end for Great Britain as a strong Croatia side ran out comfortable winners.

McCafferty, who will retire and move home to Scotland to be with husband Gary, believes the team did well, and hopes to use royal influence to promote the sport.

She said: “We've had an okay tournament.

“We've shown that we can play handball but lack experience, which is something that we can now build on, but it was everything and more.

“The Duchess of Cambridge visiting the Copper Box and she told us how exciting it was. We hope the exposure her family have given us helps for the future.

"We asked: 'When are you going to give it a go? She said she would love to have played at school but they didn't play it."

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