Last Updated: 06/08/12 6:06pm
Steven Larsson applauds the fans after defeat to Iceland
Great Britain men's Olympic handball adventure is over following a 41-24 defeat to Iceland.
Defying their six-year infancy as a handball nation, Team GB produced their best-ever display in the first half to match their opponents, who won silver at the last games in Beijing, before falling away badly after the break.
It meant GB finished with five heavy defeats from their five group games but the manner of the loss at least gave hope for the future as the team earned a fine reception from the home crowd in the Copper Box.
The hosts were 5-2 up after seven minutes, though two thundering goals from Steven Larsson reminded everyone of his star quality and when Ciaran Williams and Mark Hawkins had thrown in, the scores were tied at 6-6 after 11 minutes.
Iceland gained the upper hand with three successive efforts, but Larsson and Robin Garnham goals kept the deficit down to three as Team GB were enjoying their best spell of the tournament.
It got even better as some fine saves from Bobby White and three unanswered goals saw them trail by just 13-12 after 20 minutes and they could have taken an unlikely lead but for missed chances.
Larsson was on fire and threw in two more thunderbolts to keep the deficit at one until back-to-back goals from Iceland gave them an 18-15 half-time lead.
The atmosphere was buzzing with expectancy and another Larsson shot and a second of the day for Chris Mohr reduced the deficit to two as Team GB dared to dream, but five unanswered Iceland goals put them seven ahead and knocked the wind out of their hosts' sails.
From that point it was all about Team GB soaking up their final 15 minutes although, efforts from Gawain Vincent, John Pearce and Chris McDermott were cheered as loudly as any others.
The defeat also marks the end of an amazing six-year journey for the British squad, with coach Dragan Djukic taking a new role with Israel, several players looking set to call it a day and the future of the side in limbo until post-Games funding is decided in the autumn.
DOB: 17/5/1956 Event: Boxing Medals: 1 gold Flag: USA
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