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Handball World Cup 2019: Everything important for the tournament in Germany and Denmark


On Thursday the Handball World Cup starts in Germany and Denmark. What are the chances of the DHB selection? What about coach Prokop? Why is Left Wing Gensheimer important? Who is the favorite? The overview.

What is it about?

The sports year 2019 starts with the Handball World Cup. From 10th to 27th January 24 teams will compete for the title, current champion is France. Germany will host and host the tournament with Denmark - for the first time in 81 years of World Cup history, two countries will be hosting the tournament. Only the world champion qualifies directly for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan.

The German Handball Association (DHB) hopes for enthusiasm for his sport. The framework conditions for this are given, in 2019 no major football tournament will be hosted, Olympia also rests - handball is in the limelight. In addition, the German games are broadcast on public television by ARD and ZDF. The tournament starts with the opening match between Germany and Korea on Thursday (18.15, live ticker SPIEGEL ONLINE, TV: ZDF).

What are Germany's chances for the World Cup?

However, how big the enthusiasm will be depends on the tournament progress of the German team. As a reminder, the most recent German World Cup victory in 2007 (then also a home World Cup) followed over 16 million TV viewers in Germany the final - even the dominant in the German TV landscape football must stretch for these numbers.

From a second World Cup triumph speaks for two ninth places in the last two major tournaments but hardly anyone. He is not excluded, the home effect has caused quite a bit of surprise in the history of sports, but for the title, several players would have to go beyond themselves. A shortcoming is the lack of topplayer in the back room, a chief strategist who leads the team and steers through difficult stages.

Another problem: Germany has caught the harder tournament half and would probably hit Spain and Croatia when moving into the main round. Assuming that France - one of the top favorites in the field - the main round is the first one, the DHB selection would have to leave Spain and Croatia behind to reach the semi-finals as a second team. Read more about the mode below.

The top force in the German team is the defensive, it was already crucial for the European Championship victory in 2016. Outstanding is also Uwe Gensheimer, arguably the best left wing in the world - and the only German player abroad (at Paris Saint-Germain) under Contract is currently seriously playing for the title in the Champions League. The German league no longer enjoys the reputation of the international top elite as it did a few years ago. It becomes exciting how the tournament for Paul Drux of the Füchse Berlin goes. The 23-year-old is a highly talented backcourt player, but has been injured time and again in the past. Top scorer Julius Kühn is missing because of a cruciate ligament tear.

That's the DHB squad

Andreas Wolff, Goalkeeper, THW Kiel (Internationals: 72 / international goals: 9) * As of 13 December 2018

Silvio Heinevetter, Goalkeeper, Füchse Berlin (Internationals: 178 / Internationals Goals: 2)

Uwe Gensheimer, Left Wing, Paris St. Germain (Internationals: 158 / Internationals: 733)

Matthias Musche, Left Wing, SC Magdeburg (Internationals: 29 / international goals: 51)

Finn Lemke, Back space left, MT Melsungen (Internationals: 66 / international goals: 24)

Fabian Böhm, Back space left, TSV Hannover-Burgdorf (Internationals: 13 / international goals: 18)

Steffen Fäth, Rückraum links, Rhein-Neckar Löwen (International: 65 / international goals: 137)

Paul Drux, Rückraum Mitte, Füchse Berlin (Internationals: 64 / international goals: 125)

Martin Strobel, Rückraum Mitte, HBW Balingen-Weilstetten (Internationals: 138 / international goals: 156)

Fabian Wiede, back area right, Füchse Berlin (Internationals: 63 / international goals: 119)

Steffen Weinhold, Rückraum right, THW Kiel (Internationals: 112 / international goals: 280)

Franz Semper, Right Backcourt, SC DHfK Leipzig (Internationals: 3 / internationals: 9)

Patrick Groetzki, Right Wing, Rhein-Neckar Löwen (International: 131 / International goals: 350)

Patrick Wiencek, Kreisläufer, THW Kiel (Internationals: 121 / international goals: 274)

Hendrik Pekeler, circle runner, THW Kiel (Internationals: 82 / international goals: 129)

Jannik Kohlbacher, Kreislaufer, Rhein-Neckar Löwen (International: 48 / international goals: 92)

What about coach Christian Prokop?

The national coach has made a more meaningful squad nomination than at the European Championship last year. The World Cup for Tobias Reichmann surprised indeed. But his non-nomination creates room for an additional backspace player, so it becomes clear: Prokop wants another option for a strong defensive, he had this one year ago weakened, but more about it. Should be after the preliminary round need to be right-winger, where Patrick Groetzki is now the only player, Reichmann could be nachnominiert.

As a reminder: Before the disappointing European Championship (off in the main round) Prokop defeated Finn Finn Lemke surprisingly from the squad, destroyed the strong defense, the team structure and caused concern. In the aftermath, his job was in danger, many demanded the replacement Prokop. The DHB held despite dissenting votes in the presidium to him. Also, because the 39-year-old was very self-critical after the failed European Championship.

At the European Championships Prokop had to switch quickly - this requirement had overtaxed the team. "I had imagined much nicer and modern handball when we played it," said Prokop the SPIEGEL (read the interview at SPIEGEL +). Now the 40-year-old must show that he has developed a suitable game philosophy for the national team. The test-game impressions indicate that Germany will focus on a strong defensive position for Lemke and Hendrik Pekeler. If Prokop and his selection reach the semi-finals, it would have been a strong tournament.

These are the German preliminaries:

January 10, 6:15 pm: Korea - Germany
January 12, 6:15 pm: Germany - Brazil
January 14, 6 pm: Russia - Germany
January 15, 8:30 pm: Germany - France
17 January, 18 clock: Germany - Serbia

Who are the favorites?

The top candidates for the title are the second World Cup hosts Denmark and France. For the Danes, the 31-year-old Mikkel Hansen (Paris Saint-Germain) is still setting the pace. He is probably the strongest left back space player in the world, Niklas Landin and Jannick Green are considered the best goalkeeping duo, left winger Casper Mortensen from FC Barcelona is another top star. Denmark is current Olympic champion and was fourth at the European Championships a year ago.

Although the French have to relinquish their superstar Nikola Karabatic due to injury, they are still top-notch with backcourt Kentin Mahé from KC Veszprém, Dika Mem from FC Barcelona and right winger Luc Abalo from Paris Saint-Germain. In addition, the French league is now considered the best in the world, last three French teams were in the Final Four of the Champions League.

Spain with a mix of veterans and talents, the still viable Norway and Croatia have outsider opportunities. Sweden played a fascinating speed handball last time at the European Championship 2018 and had made it sensational to the final.


Denmark's top star Mikkel Hansen

Where can you watch the games?

ARD and ZDF will broadcast all World Cup matches of the German team live. The final on January 27th will be shown by ZDF. In addition, the Internet provider Sportdeutschland.TV will show all 96 matches of the title fights in Germany and Denmark live. Eurosport transfers 15 games without German participation.

What is the mode?

In four preliminary round groups, each with six teams, it is first about the entry into the main round. Each of the three best nations will move on and take their points and the goal difference from the games against the two teams also qualified for the main round. Instead of knockout games like two years ago, when the DHB squad failed in the second round at Qatar, it continues in two main round groups, each with six teams. The two best teams of each group reach the semi-finals, the local winners play in the final for gold.

Where is played?

For the four preliminary round groups, there are four venues: in Germany, the Munich with European champion Spain and Berlin with hosts Germany. Denmark plays in Herning and Copenhagen. The German team would move on to move into the main round to Cologne. The games of the second main round group will be held in Herning. The semi-finals in Hamburg, the final and the placement games to rank seven in Herning.

Source: spiegel

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