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Podgorica’s central square is set to welcome Montenegro’s first Olympic medalists – the female national handball team, which won second place in London.
Although they lost the gold medal game to Norway in the finals on Saturday with the score 23-26, the Montenegrin female handball team, nicknamed “the golden lionesses,” became national heroines.
In the last seconds of their quarterfinal game, the team managed to beat France. Since then, the Montenegrins have eagerly anticipated their first Olympic medal.
A victory over Spain in the semifinals ensured they would at least win a silver medal.
Some players and sport journalists believe the referees in the finals were not completely fair and that they favoured Norway.
Although they loss, Montenegro’s Katarina Bulatovic was the tournament’s top scorer.
Montenegro’s Prime Minister Igor Luksic congratulated the team for winning the medal and promised that the country would express gratitude.
The success of Montenegro’s handball in the Olympics is particularly significant given the size of the country, which is home to approximately 620,000 people.
The victory is a continuation of a successful season for Podgorica’s Buducnost handball club, which won the European Champions League in May.
Montenegro’s waterpolo players, European vice-champions, were also close to winning a bronze medal, but despite having a three goals’ advantage, they lost the game against Serbia on Sunday.
Donors spent hundreds of thousands of euro building a new museum in Gjirokastra - but the results were questionable and it ultimately closed over an ideological dispute.