Jukes pleased with handball progress

LOUISE Jukes believes Great Britain’s handball team are making massive strides after narrowly losing to world champions and Olympic silver medalists Russia.

The Ipswich-based star was part of the team that lost 34-18 to Montenegro and then 24-16 Russia in two quick-fire European Championship qualifiers in the last week.

But the manner of the defeats, with just eight points separating Russia and a Great Britain side formed especially for London 2012, has given cause for optimism.

Jukes explained: “To come within eight goals of the three-times world champions and silver Olympic medallists is absolutely amazing.

“We’ve come so far over the last few years and all our hard work is paying off. We’re learning from every game we play and can take a lot from the game at the weekend (against Russia).

“We really showed our team spirit and kept fighting all the way. They were massive giants but we were still able to stop them so this just shows we’re working in the right direction. Who knows, in nine months time we might even beat them.”

The next event for Jukes and her Great Britain team mates is the test event at the Olympic handball arena at the end of next month.

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