IHF World Championship, Japan, Kumamoto
Bronze medal match:
Two disappointed teams after the semifinal loss met each other to grab the last chance and win a medal in this WCh. Russia was one of the biggest favorites to get the gold here, with one weak game in semifinals found themselves in the bronze match, meanwhile, Norway arrived in Kumamoto without many important players, and experts were not expecting them in the semifinals, but with a fantastic teamwork, they managed to qualify into the best four.
Norway opened strong, 3-0, but Russia fought back and tried to stay close. After 20 minutes played Russians had the lead by three goals and they won the first half 15-18. Norway had problems to stop Vyakhireva, the Russian rightback ending the match with 9 goals and 11 assists.
In the second half, Norway never managed to get close enough, they had some better periods with Hegh-Arntzen, Breistøl or Aune, but Vyakhireva stole the show and Kalinina had a good performance in the Russian goal as well. Suddenly the Spanish head-coach of Russia took his first medal with a national team, Russia winning the bronze. Result: 28 – 33.
Norway – Russia 28 – 33 (15 – 18)
Referees: Garcia, Marin (ESP)
Topscorers: Emilie Hegh-Arntzen – Stine Bredal Oftedal (NOR) 7 goals each and Anna Vyakhireva (RUS) 9 goals
Player of the match: Anna Vyakhireva (RUS)