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German handball players at EM with light and shadow

Two wins, the ticket for the main round solved early – and yet Germany’s handball players start again from scratch at the European Championship.

In the final preliminary round duel against Poland on Tuesday (6:00 p.m. / ZDF) in Bratislava, it’s not just about winning the group, but above all about the first points for the second phase of the tournament. “The points we take with us are extremely important. That’s why we want to put everything in and win,” said captain Johannes Golla.

The weaknesses:

As at the start in the duel with Belarus, the DHB selection got off to a very slow start in the 34:29 against Austria.

“Of course we’re really annoyed that we’ve always started badly lately, and we’re puzzled about the reasons,” said national coach Alfred Gislason. The young team is not lacking in attitude, at least believes DHB sports director Axel Kromer. “I don’t think the boys aren’t fully there. We notice how energized they are,” he said. “But something seems to paralyze them a bit, because in fact they are a bit like rabbits in defense at the beginning.”

The strengths:

The team is not unsettled by this and always believes in itself. “The positive thing is how the team deals with a deficit and the pressure. That’s a huge character trait,” praised Gislason. Another plus point: All players received longer playing times and are well into the tournament.

Above all the goalkeeper Till Klimpke, who was outstanding against Austria. “I’m really happy for the boy. He held up very well,” said Gislason about the 23-year-old European Championship newcomer from Wetzlar. 14 saves meant a rate of 42 percent saved balls. “This is world class,” stated Gislason. Klimpke himself was also happy: “It was awesome that I was able to play through 60 minutes and we rocked it like that.”

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