DENMARK DO IT AGAIN
For the second successive EHF Beach Handball EURO, Denmark’s men reigned supreme
The night before the men’s final at the Beach Handball EURO 2021, Denmark star Martin Vilstrup Andersen was talking in his sleep.
His roommate told him the next morning what he had been saying: “We will win tomorrow.”
It didn’t remain a dream: Denmark won the final against Croatia (2:0 – 25:20, 28:22) in Varna, Bulgaria to successfully defend the crown they had earned two years ago.
“We were here, we believed in ourselves,” Vilstrup Andersen said right after the final. “To become European champions, undefeated, is nothing I ever dreamed of.”
“We were here, we believed in ourselves,” “To become European champions, undefeated, is nothing I ever dreamed of.”
The strength of Denmark showed throughout the whole week. Approaching each match with the same intensity, whether it was in the preliminary round or in the final, they proved too good for anybody.
The confidence showed in both sets of the final. Relying on a strong defence as the base, Denmark got the edge over Croatia thanks to a flawless attacking game, enabling Nikolaj Mogensen to score 24 points, 12 in each set.
The lost final meant at least some consolation for Croatia, after they had sensationally missed out on the semi-finals two years ago.
With Ivan Juric named MVP and Lucian Bura scoring 149 times - only two less than the tournament's top scorer Cemal Kütahya of Turkey, Croatia were once again among the most attractive teams in the field.
Russia beat Spain 2:1 for bronze
Two-time former champions Russia took bronze after an entertaining match against Spain, winning it 2:1 (23:22, 14:16, 7:6) – to secure their first medal since 2017
The first set ended with a golden goal from Nikita Iltinskiy, the shoot-out with Igor Neklyudov netting the decisive point, 7:6.
GERMANY DENY ANOTHER DANISH DOUBLE
In the Women’s EHF Beach Handball EURO, Germany secured their second title and prevented Denmark from winning a second straight gold
Victorious 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 had been flying all week at the Women’s Beach Handball EURO 2021 in Varna.
It marked Germany's second European title, and first since 2006.
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.
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
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.