Germany topple Denmark to reclaim title after 15 years
Germany coach Alexander Novakovic looked up in the air at the birds high above the Black Sea coast.
“But here are the real eagles,” he said, pointing at his players who were celebrating on the court behind him.
Indeed, Germany have been flying all week at the Women’s Beach Handball EURO 2021 in Varna.
Their unbeaten run also included Sunday’s final against Denmark, as they handed the defending champions a 2:0 (24:21, 25:20) defeat.
It marked Germany's second European title, and first since 2006.
“I have no words for this team,” Novakovic said. “We lost no game, it's unbelievable. Two years ago, we were in 10th place, and now European champions.”
Despite winning each match, Germany stayed with their feet on the ground during the week.
“It is still unbelievable, even coming into the final,” Kirsten Walter said. “We lost all week two sets, but did not think about the gold. We did it step by step. We wanted to follow the plan, that was the way to success.”
Germany had the better start in the first set for a 10:5 lead but found themselves 11:10 behind just two minutes later.
But the team kept going, and after winning the first by three points, made the difference even bigger in the second.
A crucial element to Germany’s triumph was Amelie Möllmann, who scored 13 two-pointers.
“This was our plan,” said Novakovic, adding that video analysis of Denmark’s games had helped him prepare his team for the final.
“We saw there was a lot of space on the right side. It was only a matter for Amelie to shoot, shoot, shoot.”
Möllmann’s 26 points and Germany’s solid defence, highlighted by the All-star Team awards for defender Isabel Kattner and goalkeeper Katharina Filter, proved too much for Denmark.
Still, the Scandinavian side will leave Varna proud of their strong efforts to defend their first title they had won two years ago.
Spain beat Norway to take bronze
Earlier Sunday, Spain beat Norway 2:0 (21:18, 23:22) in the bronze medal match, despite Marielle Martinsen outstanding tally of 20 points for Norway in this game.
It was the second medal for Spain's women at a Beach Handball EURO, four years after they also took bronze at in 2017 - the same year Norway won gold.
The Women's Beach Handball EURO 2021 All-star Team:
- fair play team: France
- best goalkeeper: Katharina Filter – GER
- best defender: Isabel Kattner – GER
- top scorer: Marielle Martinsen – NOR (143 points)
- MVP: Line Gyldenløve Kristensen – DEN