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World Cup in Denmark: Handball players aim for a World Cup medal

World Cup in Denmark: Handball players aim for a World Cup medal

The quarter-finals have been reached and the ticket for the Olympic qualification tournament has been secured. But Germany’s handball players are not yet satisfied. The many World Cup victories cause a problem.

While her teammates in the dressing room were still celebrating their entry into the World Cup quarter-finals, co-captain Alina Grijseels was already spying on the next opponent.

Hidden on a step in the middle of the packed Herningen handball hall, Germany’s playmaker tried to identify the Danes’ weaknesses. Whether their secret mission is successful will be shown in the duel with the title contender on Monday (8.30 p.m./Sportdeutschland.tv).

After five mostly confident victories, the early advance to the quarter-finals and the ticket for the Olympic qualification tournament, the DHB selection is brimming with self-confidence. “We’re happy this evening, but from tomorrow we’ll be on the hunt,” announced national coach Markus Gaugisch aggressively. “We’re not done yet. We still have room for improvement and want to play for medals,” left winger Antje Döll said as a challenge to the competition.

The offensive is weakening

The duel with the Danes is about winning the group. “We’re not under any pressure, but we’re keen. We’re really keen to fight for first place,” said Gaugisch. Even though his team goes into the game as league leaders, the 49-year-old sees the European runner-up as the clear favorite. “Each of the Danes plays in a top club. They are not just bench players, but all top performers,” analyzed Gaugisch.

In order to trip up the Scandinavians in front of a loud home crowd, the DHB team has to improve. The victory on Saturday over Serbia was confident in the end, but the deficits in the offensive did not go unnoticed at 31:21. “If we want to survive against strong teams like Denmark, we have to make better use of our chances and improve our throwing effectiveness,” demanded Döll, referring to the many missed throws against Serbia.

The DHB team has lost its calm

The fact that the DHB women can now overcome periods of weakness almost unscathed speaks for the development of the team. “I’m happy that the players can get out of situations like this. Even if I’m angry, they stay focused and implement our advice,” said Gaugisch. Döll described her team’s maturation process a little more compactly: “We’ve lost our calm now.”

The minimum goal of the quarterfinals has been achieved. Possible opponents there are the teams from Sweden, Montenegro or Croatia. “I don’t care what happens. We know everyone. I much prefer that to South Korea or Brazil,” said Gaugisch.

Lots of games, lots of laundry

30 years after the only World Cup title for Germany’s handball players, another coup is possible. It probably won’t be a World Cup victory, the top teams from Scandinavia and France are too strong for that. But the first medal since third place in 2007 seems quite realistic.

The only disadvantage: more games also means more dirty laundry. But the handball players have already found solutions for this – the parents and friends who traveled with them step in. “Everyone has a laundry bag, but it shouldn’t be full to the brim. The game laundry is always washed, but you have to improvise with the rest,” reported backcourt player Viola Leuchter. And if necessary, the bathtub has to be used. So far the DHB team has found a solution for everything at this tournament.

Source: Stern

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