July 25, 2021

Handball Bundesliga: THW Kiel secures the championship

As of: 06/27/2021 8:02 p.m.

THW Kiel is the German handball champion for the 22nd time. The defending champion reached a happy ending on Sunday (27.06.2021) in the last game of the season at the Rhein-Neckar Löwen, 25:25 (13:12).

Only when the gold confetti rained down and the bowl was handed over did the 22nd German championship title hit the minds of the handball professionals at THW Kiel. The Bundesliga long-distance duel with SG Flensburg-Handewitt was too dramatic, almost unreal, after 38 match days the very last throw decided.

Andy Schmid of the Rhein-Neckar Löwen put it past the right goal post in the final second and outnumbered it, it remained at 25:25 (13:12), a precision landing for the guests. And after the final whistle, the Mannheimer Arena became both a dance palace and a madhouse for the THW professionals, and national coach Alfred Gislason applauded it from the stands.

Jicha incredibly proud, Duvnjak pathetic

“Dancer” Filip Jicha was incredibly proud of his champions. “What the boys have achieved is admirable. We are anything but chance champions,” said the successful Czech coach with wet eyes.

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Team captain Domagoj Duvnjak even became unusually pathetic: “That was the toughest season of my life, I really left everything on the field.” Nevertheless, the strength should be enough for a small championship celebration, because a boat trip was planned in the Kiel Fjord that evening.

Flensburg hopes in vain

With the draw all Flensburg hopes to intercept the league leaders, who went into the league final with one point more, died. The well-planned home win against HBW Balingen-Weilstetten (38:26) was ultimately irrelevant. In the event of a tie, the advantage decided in a direct comparison for the THW.

SG coach Maik Machulla was unspeakably disappointed, but still enthusiastic about his team: “For three months we were only on the road with eight healthy people.” After the end of their game, the SG professionals watched the final minutes of the game in Kiel on a video wall – and hoped in vain for a THW slip.

Kiel was mostly just ahead from the beginning of the second half, but was never able to break away decisively. This was primarily due to the Löwen goalkeeper Andreas Palicka, who was getting harder and harder for the guests to overcome. Jicha was visibly annoyed that his protégés kept throwing too quickly – and failed.

There was never a doubt about the outcome of the match in the Flensburg Arena. In front of 2,000 fans, the home side acted concentrated from the first minute, with a half-time score of 24:12, the game was practically decided. And a large part of the audience followed what was going on in Mannheim with greater interest.

Playing time was a logistical challenge

Coach Martin Schwalb said goodbye to Mannheim with the game against Kiel. The ex-national player is returning as sports director to the newly promoted Bundesliga HSV Hamburg, with whom he won the Champions League in 2013 as coach. He had sympathy for the narrowly failed team from Flensburg: “You saw it, we put everything into it.”

Last year, the Bundesliga season was canceled prematurely due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the THW was declared champion via the quotient regulation. This scenario threatened at times this season as well. 41 games had to be postponed due to the pandemic, a logistical challenge. “We reached our limits economically and organizationally. But it was important that the decisions are made on the field and not at the green table,” said Bundesliga managing director Frank Bohmann. That gives “a good feeling for the new season.”

Those: sportschau.de