Tears, sadness, emptiness: Frustrating EM bankruptcy for hockey women

Tears, sadness, emptiness: Frustrating EM bankruptcy for hockey women

The game for third place at the European Hockey Championship is less than cold consolation. Tears flowed in Germany’s hockey women after the defeat in the semifinals.

The players buried their faces behind towels, some cried uncontrollably and coach Valentin Altenburg was just sad.

Instead of playing a big European Championship final in the sold-out Mönchengladbach hockey park, the dream of the title evaporated faster than expected after the unnecessary 1-0 defeat in the semifinals against Belgium. The third place game against England at 12.15pm on Saturday is less than cold consolation for the team. “No, that doesn’t help at all. It doesn’t do anything for me,” said international Selin Oruz. “But we have to play it, just for the spectators,” said the 26-year-old.

Missing the final is inexplicable for the captain of Düsseldorfer HC. “I’m overwhelmed with the end and feel incredibly empty right now. I thought nothing could throw us off track and no opponent could be dangerous,” said Oruz. Tears also flowed from captain Nike Lorenz. “The final was a dream, the atmosphere here is so unbelievably great and now we have to try to make the best of the match for third place.” Ironically, this game will be broadcast live on ARD on Saturday. “The audience will take us with them,” said Anne Schröder from Hamburg.

Coach Altenburg: “The sadness is very great”

The national coach, who had hoped for so much from his players at this home European Championship, was also struck. His side dominated the game against Belgium, creating enough chances to score, hitting the inside post once and suffering two unfortunate refereeing decisions. “The grief is very great,” said Altenburg. “But I experience the team as very united and grieving together. Perhaps mutual support is the greatest thing we can get from it,” said the coach.

The game for third place against the English, who were outclassed 7-0 by the defending champions, the Netherlands, is of course important for the coach again. “We are a team that is developing. If we go into a bronze game, we will be well prepared so that we can win our last tournament game,” promised the national coach.

With the missed final, the first chance of an early ticket for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris has also been lost. The European champion has secured a starting place at the Olympics. Further places will be awarded at the qualifying tournaments in January 2024. “That’s not relevant for me now and is absolutely secondary,” said the national coach after the lost semifinals.

Source: Stern

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