France and Russia meet in the women’s handball gold medal match Saturday afternoon, and the French have already assured themselves of their first Olympic medal in women’s handball (the men have won the last two gold medals). As for Russia, their prior gold medals in women’s handball were won when the nation was part of the Soviet Union (1976, 1980). And if their rematch is anything like the meeting between the two teams in pool play, expect a thriller.
Russia won that meeting 26-25, with Polina Kuznetsova scoring six goals and Anna Vyakhireva and Marina Sudakova adding four apiece to lead the way. France’s Siraba Dembele also scored six goals in that game but it was Alexandra Lacrabere who was their most accurate offensive weapon on that day.
WATCH LIVE: Women’s handball gold medal match, France vs. Russia — 2:30 p.m. Eastern
Lacrabere scored 11 goals on 13 shots in the defeat, and she tallied six goals in France’s 24-23 win over the Netherlands in the semifinal round. Both teams won entertaining one-goal matches to reach the final, with France hanging to beat the Dutch and Russia beating Norway, 38-37.