The Handball World Championship has begun. The biggest tournament of the year has been taking place in Poland and Sweden since January 11th. National coach Alfred Gislason celebrates a victory with Germany at the start. France already qualifies for the main round. All information in the news ticker.
8.55 a.m .: Defending champion Denmark has easily reached the main round at the Handball World Cup. The 2019 and 2021 world champions also won their second preliminary round match in Group H against Bahrain 36:21 (16:9) on Sunday evening and is thus in the next phase of the tournament. Mathias Gidsel from Bundesliga leaders Füchse Berlin was the top scorer for the Danes with nine goals.
Norway is already a round further with superstar Sander Sagosen from the German record champions THW Kiel. In Group F, the Scandinavians scored their second win in the second game by beating Argentina 32:21 (16:12), as did the team from the Netherlands, who, after beating North Macedonia 34:24 (18:11), also made it into the main round early stands.
The Norwegians and Dutch are then group opponents of the German team. In addition to the DHB selection, Serbia also progressed in Group E despite the 33:34 defeat against the team of national coach Alfred Gislason and Qatar. The Asian champions qualified for the main round with a 29:24 (12:11) win against Algeria.
Monday, January 16, 3:46 a.m .: Despite the sometimes violent reactions, ex-national player Christian Schwarzer does not want to take back his criticism of the first use of referees at the Handball World Cup. “Whether that’s contemporary or not: it’s just my attitude,” said the 2007 world champion in the latest episode of his podcast “Enlightening von Blacky Schwarzer”.
In the previous program, Schwarzer said, among other things, about the World Cup premiere of female referees at the finals in Poland and Sweden – including the German sisters Maike Merz and Tanja Kuttler: “I have no idea how you came up with the idea of women at to let the men whistle.” This caused a great deal of misunderstanding in the handball scene.
“I’m far from being misogynist,” Schwarzer justified himself. “It’s just my opinion, and I ask you to respect it.” He would not regret his statements: “So far, I’ve done well in my life by standing by the things I’ve said.”
Schwarzer acknowledged that he may have “outdated views” on the subject. “But they’ve gotten me through life very, very well so far. That’s why I will continue as before,” said the former circle runner. He couldn’t quite understand the excitement he caused. “I didn’t say anything derogatory to the women,” emphasized Schwarzer.
Saturday, January 14, 7:34 p.m .: Olympic champion France is the first top team in the main round at the Handball World Championship. The six-time record champion came to a clear 41:23 (24:14) victory against Saudi Arabia in Katowice on Saturday and confidently leads Group B with 4:0 points. At the start, France narrowly defeated co-hosts Poland by 26:24.
Brazil also secured their ticket for the second phase of the tournament early with a 35:24 (19:10) in the South American duel against Uruguay. Because of the direct comparison won, the Brazilians (2:2 points) can no longer be surpassed by Uruguay (0:4) if there is still a possibility of a tie at the end of the preliminary round. The top three teams from each of the eight groups of four advance.
Friday, January 13, 10:26 p.m.: After Germany, Serbia also got off to a good start in the Handball World Championship. The next preliminary round opponent of the DHB selection won on Friday evening in Kattowitz against Algeria with 36:27 (16:13) and has 2:0 points in group E like the German team. Both teams meet on Sunday. Mijajlo Marsenic from Bundesliga leaders Füchse Berlin shone with nine goals for the Serbs.
Defending champion Denmark had no trouble either. The 2019 and 2021 world champion came in Group H against outsiders Belgium to a clear 43:28 (22:15). Superstar Mikkel Hansen with ten goals and Berlin’s Mathias Gidsel (9) were the best throwers for the Danes, who are again among the big favorites for gold.
Norway also had a sovereign opening win in Group F with a 39:27 (18:11) win against North Macedonia. Top star Sander Sagosen from the German record champions THW Kiel scored six times. In Group G, Egypt beat Croatia 31:22 (16:12).
Thursday, January 12, 8:25 p.m .: European handball champion Sweden takes the bus to the games in Gothenburg at the home world championship – although the three-crown team lives only 300 meters from the hall. “It has to do with television. They want pictures of us getting off the bus,” Sweden coach Glenn Solberg told Aftonbladet newspaper.
The finals co-hosts meet Brazil, Uruguay and Cape Verde in Group C. Incidentally, the not exactly environmentally friendly regulation only applies to the journey to the games. After games and training, players are allowed to walk.
This is not new to the Scandinavians. At last year’s European Championships, the later title holders in Bratislava also had to take the bus to the games because of the TV pictures – even though the team hotel was right in the arena complex.
6.35 p.m .: Germany’s handball players can start the journey to the World Cup in full. The corona tests required by the world association IHF before the tournament came out negative for all 18 players from the World Cup squad of national coach Alfred Gislason. This was announced by the German Handball Federation on Tuesday.
“We were confident, but of course there was a little uncertainty. Now we are happy that we can stay on course,” said DHB sports director Axel Kromer. At the EM 2022 there were a total of 18 positive corona cases in the German team.
The DHB selection concludes its preparation for the final round in Poland and Sweden on Wednesday as planned with a final training session in the training camp in Barsinghausen. On Thursday, the German World Cup entourage will fly to Kattowitz, where the first preliminary round match against Asian champions Qatar will take place on Friday. Other opponents in Group E are Serbia and Algeria.
Tuesday, January 10, 11:02 a.m .: On the way to the hoped-for third world title in a row, Denmark may have to do without Mads Mensah Larsen at the start of the handball world championship in Poland and Sweden. The backcourt player from SG Flensburg-Handewitt tested positive for the corona virus, as the Danish Handball Association announced on Tuesday. The 31-year-old was therefore temporarily isolated three days before Denmark’s opening game against Belgium. He is now awaiting further tests that should finally clarify whether he can play against the Belgians in Malmö on Friday (8.30 p.m.) or not. Mensah was quoted as saying in a statement from the association that he feels completely healthy.
According to the federation, Mensah is the only player to miss the penultimate training session on Danish soil before leaving for Sweden on Tuesday. The corona tests of all other players and supervisors were therefore negative.
Monday, January 9th, 1:52 p.m .: National coach Alfred Gislason has nominated 18 players for the Handball World Championship from January 11th to 29th in Poland and Sweden.
The squad of the DHB selection:
Goal: Andreas Wolff (Vive Kielce/31 years/128 internationals/13 goals), Joel Birlehm (Rhein-Neckar Löwen/25/6/0)
Left winger: Lukas Mertens (SC Magdeburg/26/14/26), Rune Dahmke (THW Kiel/29/43/76)
Back left: Paul Drux (Foxes Berlin/27/118/207), Philipp Weber (SC Magdeburg/30/66/157), Julian Köster (VfL Gummersbach/22/19/35)
Center back: Juri Knorr (Rhein-Neckar Löwen/22/28/60), Luca Witzke (SC DHfK Leipzig/23/14/24), Simon Ernst (SC DHfK Leipzig/28/56/38)
Right back: Kai Häfner (MT Melsungen/33/122/283), Djibril M’Bengue (Bergischer HC/30/11/11), Christoph Steinert (HC Erlangen/32/15/34)
Right wing: Patrick Groetzki (Rhein-Neckar Löwen/33/158/382), Lukas Zerbe (TBV Lemgo Lippe/26/18/27)
Circle: Johannes Golla (SG Flensburg-Handewitt/25/50/163), Jannik Kohlbacher (Rhein-Neckar Löwen/27/85/170), Tim Zechel (HC Erlangen/26/7/7)
The team will start the tournament against Qatar on Friday January 13th.
Saturday, January 7th, 5:48 p.m.: Germany’s handball players were not able to reward themselves with a win for a strong performance in the penultimate World Cup test against Iceland. The long-dominant DHB selection lost to the sixth place in the European Championship on Saturday in Bremen by 30:31 (18:14). In front of 8,872 spectators in the sold-out ÖVB Arena, captain Johannes Golla and playmaker Juri Knorr were the top scorers for national coach Alfred Gislason’s team, each with six goals.
On Sunday (3.30 p.m./ZDF.de) both teams will meet again in Hanover for the World Cup dress rehearsal. In the final round in Poland and Sweden, which begins next Wednesday, the German team will play in the preliminary round against Asian champions Qatar, Serbia and Algeria.
The German team needed a short warm-up time to find their rhythm and quickly fell 3-0 behind. Only in the 5th minute did Philipp Weber score the first goal. Gradually, however, the host adapted better to the opponent and equalized at 4:4 (10th). Shortly thereafter, right winger Patrick Groetzki provided the lead for the first time with his goal to make it 7:6.
The defense was now more compact and behind them experienced goalkeeper Andreas Wolff, who was part of the 2016 European Championship triumph, proved to be a strong support. With a number of saves, the 31-year-old played a major role in increasing the lead to four goals at 14:10 (23 rd ).
Playmaker Knorr shone in attack. The 22-year-old from the Rhein-Neckar Löwen often skilfully staged his teammates and was always looking for a finish himself. Gislason, for whom it was the first duel with his home country, followed the action on the sidelines with satisfaction.
In the final phase of the first half, the DHB selection remained focused and took the four-goal cushion with them into the break, during which they were greeted with great applause by the enthusiastic audience.
As at the beginning, the German team slept through the starting phase in the second half. Within just three minutes, the Icelanders came within a goal. But the Gislason protégés were unimpressed. With their own 6:0 run to 23:17, the DHB team even pulled ahead by six goals.
The national coach used the clear advantage to experiment with personnel and changed almost completely. Joel Birlehm replaced Wolff between the posts, and Leipzig’s Luca Witzke was able to prove himself as a playmaker.
The many changes led to a break in the German game. Almost eight minutes before the end, the Icelanders were close to a goal again at 26:25 and a little later they took the lead again for the first time. Gislason reacted and sent his top trio in the backcourt and regular goalkeeper Wolff onto the floor again. But that didn’t help in the end.
Friday, January 6, 2:39 p.m .: The chaotic Corona days in Bratislava have burned themselves deep into Johannes Golla’s consciousness. At the European Championship last year, the captain of the German national handball team experienced an exceptional situation in view of a total of 18 positive cases in the DHB team and all players being isolated for days in the hotel room between the EM games, which fully challenged him on and off the floor borders led.
“It’s an event we still talk about and share. That was an important part of the path the team is now taking,” said the line runner from SG Flensburg-Handewitt in retrospect.
Golla and his teammates want to draw on these experiences at the World Championships, which begin next Wednesday. “The EM showed how much quality there is across the board and also bonded us personally. We are a good unit, everyone can get along with everyone. There are always large groups communicating with each other. No one is left out, everyone gets involved,” said Golla, emphasizing: “I really want to achieve something sporty with the team.”
How good the 18-man World Cup squad of national coach Alfred Gislason is will be shown in the two international matches against Iceland, sixth in the European Championship, on Saturday (4:15 p.m./ZDF) in Bremen and Sunday (3:30 p.m./ZDF.de) in Hanover . “This is a team against which we have to invest everything and will show us our weaknesses. Such tests take us further and show us where we stand,” said Golla.
4:35 p.m .: For Philipp Weber from SC Magdeburg, the upcoming Handball World Cup is not just about a good placement. “We’re going to the World Cup to get our best and to beat big opponents,” said the backcourt player of the “Magdeburger Volksstimme”. The minimum goal is to reach the quarterfinals, where the German selection could compete with opponents like France or Spain. In Group E, the tournament, which takes place in Poland and Sweden from 11 to 29 January, will initially face Qatar, Serbia and Algeria.
With 64 caps (152 goals) and a total of five appearances in major tournaments, Weber is one of the more experienced players in the squad. In addition, winning the Club World Cup again and taking part in the Champions League with the SCM raised him to another level. “Playing in the Champions League is a great feeling. Even as a child, I dreamed of competing with the best,” said the 30-year-old.
Tuesday, January 3, 2023, 10:35 a.m .: Bundesliga referee Patrick Ittrich would like to see a tighter set of rules in football based on the model of handball. Ittrich told the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” (Monday) that he hopes that referee decisions will be acknowledged less often with player protests. For example, if a handball player is treated on the field for a possible injury, he then has to leave the field – and if you don’t let the ball lie, you get a seven-meter penalty against your own team. “In terms of football, that would mean: For a tactical foul in midfield, there is a free kick seventeen meters in front of your own goal. How often would there be such fouls? If someone rolls over three times and needs a doctor, I say: No problem, the doctor is coming, you’re out for three minutes. How fast do you think he gets up! I would wish for that,” said the 43-year-old director from Hamburg.
In his opinion, the issue of pack formation and complaints could also be better dealt with through stricter rules. “You insulted me? You get a 10 minute cool down penalty. Go cycling, like football, so you won’t get cold. We can learn a lot from handball there, said Ittrich. “How can it be that after a decision by ten men I’m being hit on?” The referees would call this behavior “bullying of the referee”. Yellow has, yellow-red. Then it’s seven against eleven. That would be fine with me, “said the referee.
Marco Reus and Borussia Dortmund. A success story that will soon last eleven years. Reus’ contract expires in the summer. Both sides are currently further apart in terms of a contract extension. The Reus side is disappointed and surprised.
The Handball World Championship from January 11th to 29th in Poland and Sweden will again electrify millions of fans. The German team coached by Alfred Gislason also wants to play big as outsiders at the tournament. The most important questions and answers about the World Cup at a glance.