Malmo (dpa) - Sander Sagosen beamed with joy after Norway's sixth victory in the sixth game with his teammates for cheering photos. The semi-final that was reached prematurely is said to be only a stopover for the young star at the European Handball Championship.
«For me personally, it's all about one color - gold. And I think we have the team for it », the 24-year-old backcounter had already stated after the prestige success in the Scandinavian duel against Sweden.
With the 31:28 against Iceland the World Cup runner-up Norway made it clear to the medal round. And, of course, Sagosen was the outstanding man again. He contributed nine goals to the win and increased his European Championship account to 51 goals. He is currently the top shooter of the final round. "He is currently playing the best handball of his life," said Norwegian trainer Christian Berge praising the "King of the North", as Sagosen has already been christened by the Norwegian media.
The EM could finally bring a changing of the guard in European-dominated world handball, which has been emerging for several years. After the premature failure of world champion and Olympic champion Denmark and three-time European champion France, the Norwegians are considered the big favorite. So far, they have fully fulfilled this role - and Sagosen has played a large part in this.
The 1.95 meter tall and 95 kilogram heavy giant from Trondheim, who looks like a big boy with his neatly parted hair, has long since matured into a top star in the industry. Sagosen has done a lot for this - and the 2017 and 2019 runner-up missed world titles drove him. "I didn't do my best in the World Cup finals," he said before the European Championship and reported: "So I asked myself, how do I have to prepare myself physically and mentally to perform better in such situations? I've worked a lot on it. »
While the multiple world handball players Mikkel Hansen (Denmark) and Nikola Karabatic (France), with whom he will play with Paris Saint-Germain until the end of the season, are already sitting at home on the couch, Sagosen shoots the opposing keepers at the XXL European Championship around the ears. «He does everything to become a better handball player. He is great in one on one - and he is hungry, »said Norway assistant coach Börge Lund.
This also pleases the German record champions THW Kiel, to whom Sagosen changes in the summer. The Bundesliga finally gets a top star again. «I want to be the best, I've always said that. And that is also the mentality of the THW. You want to win everything. I cannot miss this opportunity, ”said Sagosen after his commitment. "I made a conscious decision to take on this new challenge." Before that, he wants to win the first international title with Norway. "Then the whole team will take action," announced Sagosen.
Schedule and table for EM main round group II
Sagosa data and figures on EM homepage