The conciliatory end of the EM at 30:29 against Russia was balm for the souls of the corona-plagued German handball players.
“I’m proud of the team. It’s not the best result that a DHB team has achieved, but an incredibly extraordinary achievement,” said DHB sports director Axel Kromer, praising the overall appearance of the DHB selection, which was badly decimated by 15 positive corona cases at the tournament in Hungary and Slovakia. Kromer is certain: “The players will be able to tell their children and grandchildren about this for many years to come.”
National coach Alfred Gislason also drew a positive conclusion at the end of the Corona madness in Bratislava. “I’m glad it’s over and nobody got hurt. Some were very broken,” said the 62-year-old Icelander. Only 13 players were left against the Russians.
Despite the constant blows and three main round defeats against defending champion Spain, World Cup runners-up Sweden and Norway, Gislason rated the European Championship as a success. “No one gave up, no one complained. Everyone showed a lot of character. It was a nice experience to experience the difficult days with the team,” he said.
His charges felt the same way. “Proud of every single one,” wrote right winger Tobias Reichmann on Instagram. “No one would bring such a performance under these circumstances.” The cohesion within the team, which was thrown together due to constant new failures, made the EM something very special.
Kromer sees the DHB team on the right track after the handball championship
Kromer therefore sees the DHB selection on the right track. “We have incredible characters in the team who will shape handball in the years to come. We will see new role models from this team. We need that to bind our members and fans,” said the visibly moved sports director.
Captain Johannes Golla, who played an outstanding role on and off the floor, was already looking ahead. “A great team spirit has developed. That will continue to bind us together in the future,” said the pivot from SG Flensburg-Handewitt. As far as the corona circumstances are concerned, this EM will certainly not be topped. “But I hope that we will still experience very special tournaments, preferably with sporting success,” said Golla.