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France beat Russia to win women's European handball gold

Franck Fife, AFP | France's handball squad celebrate winning their European title in Paris.

France's handball world champions edged Russia 24-21 during a tense final in Paris on Sunday to win the women's European championship in front of a delighted home crowd.

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Left-back Alexandra Lacrabère was the top scorer for the hosts as they led from start to finish, cheered on by 14,000 fans – including football star Kylian Mbappé – at a packed Accor Hotels Arena.

Victory for the "Bleues" avenges their defeat to Russia in the final of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Their European title means they are now automatically qualified for the next Olympics in Tokyo, where they will enter the contest as hot favourites.

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