Sunday, August 10, 2008

Olympic Games: Handball

Tonight I attended the Olympic handball preliminary match between China and Poland. I'd never heard of handball before I was offered the tickets (for the unbelievably low price of 30RMB each, approximately US$4) but a bit of research revealed that is it played on a rectangular court with goal nets at each end, with two half-hour periods, and is sort of like soccer played with your hands, on a smaller playing area.

The final score was Poland 33-China 19. China scored several goals in the last several minutes of the game to come up from behind but it wasn't enough to make up for the lead that Poland had created in the first half.

The Chinese team was obviously much less experienced and playing at a disadvantage against a much more mature Polish team. One of the stars of the game was Chinese goalkeeper Wang Long (whose name means Dragon King). Whenever he was on the court the crowd could count on him to energetically attempt to defend his goal.

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