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Great Britain are European Champions

Great Britain went through all the emotions during a tough but successful week in Finland.

They started and finished the week with one point wins but elite sport is made of small margins and one point is all it needs to be victorious.

Having beaten France 53-52, Belgium 57-33 and Sweden 63-47 in the pool stages the team went forward at the top of the table and met Germany in the semi final with GB emerging as the winners 53-50 and securing their spot at Rio 2016 in the process.

Sweden, as reigning champions, were up against Denmark in a repeat of the 2013 final and after double overtime they emerged one point winners 58-57.

So to the final and GB would have been confident after their dominant 16 point win in the pool stages, but the match was close from the start and supported by some excellent commentary made for some great viewing.

Sweden led for most of the match but there was never more than a couple of points in it. As the clock counted down it was going to all be about turnovers and as the game moved into counting seconds only, James Roberts stuck up an extendable arm and grabbed the ball with scores tied at 47 all and a quick score put them ahead with 46 sec on the clock. Sweden needed to score to force overtime and run the 40sec shot clock down as much as possible, they did all they could and crossed the goal line with 9.7 seconds on the clock and overtime was looming, but a quick restart pass from Gavin Walker saw a full court sprint from Roberts crossing the line skillfully with 1 second on the clock and the GB bench erupted into celebration.

A happy huddle

A full round up of the tournament and links to match videos is here

The European Champions are in action at BT WWRC15 as follows:

Monday Oct 12 v France 19:45 Tickets
Tuesday Oct 13 v Australia 17:30 Tickets
Wednesday Oct 14 v Japan 19:45 Tickets
Thursday and Friday times subject to qualification.