Cairo (dpa) - Niklas Landin could not stop even a throw in the face shortly before the end: In the changing room of the Danish handball players, the once again outstanding goalkeeper of THW Kiel shouted his joy at winning the World Cup in Egypt with relief.
In the confetti rain after the 26:24 (13:13) success in the Scandinavian final against Sweden, the 32-year-old and his teammates lifted the golden World Cup trophy shortly afterwards into the almost empty hall in Cairo.
"I'm really proud of this team," said Landin.
“We haven't had that many moments when we threw balls away or received penalties.
We fight like a team. "
Coach Nikolaj Jacobsen had given everything on the sidelines and was initially exhausted in his chair after the game.
"I'm tired," the former Bundesliga professional admitted with a laugh.
"That was a fantastic piece of work."
With their successful title defense, the Danes underpinned their current exceptional status in world handball.
For the Olympic champion, who competed with numerous Bundesliga professionals, it was the 19th win in a World Cup game in a row, something that no other team had achieved before.
In addition to the outstanding Landin, superstar Mikkel Hansen had a large share in the success of the Danes with seven hits.
But the backcourt star of Paris Saint-Germain also fell into the arms of the once again decisive Landin with relief after the final whistle.
While the Danes celebrated their title defense in the hall without spectators, the Swedes were very disappointed.
Almost 22 years after their last World Cup title, which the Swedes won in Egypt in the summer of 1999, they now also missed the fifth World Cup triumph in their history in Cairo.
Even their most successful goalscorer with five goals, Hampus Wanne from SG Flensburg-Handewitt, could not prevent the defeat because ultimately the individual class of the Danes prevailed.
In a long and tight final, the Danes, trained by former Bundesliga coach Jacobsen, could only decide the game in the final phase.
While the Swedes had to do without some regulars at the World Cup, which was held for the first time with 32 teams, the Danes almost had the best line-up.
Nevertheless, Sweden, where goalkeeper Andreas Palicka from the Rhein-Neckar Löwen also held strong, kept the game open for a long time.
Landin ultimately drove her to despair with his parades.
Nevertheless, the German team should now be warned at the latest because they will meet vice world champions Sweden at the Olympic qualification tournament in Berlin at the beginning of March.
Other opponents are Algeria and Slovenia, the best two teams in the group of four secure a ticket for the summer games in Tokyo.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210131-99-246182 / 5
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