Every year we look for trends at the major handball tournaments. This time it became apparent that more and more goals are being scored from six meters away, while goals from long distance are becoming fewer. An insight from the European Championship that people in Magdeburg shrugged off, because the SCM has been playing like this for six years: the backcourt players tirelessly engage in duels and try to get into a throwing position as close as possible to the opponent’s goal – of course the chance is there Hitting from six meters is bigger than from eleven.
When Magdeburg started doing this consistently under coach Bennet Wiegert in 2018, the reaction from the scene was: Let them do it. Doesn’t prevail. It’s way too strenuous.
One championship, one victory in the Champions League and three titles at the Club World Cup later, “Dyn” commentator Stefan Kretzschmar was not the only one who praised Magdeburg handball as “style-defining” on Wednesday evening: the ball circulated like a dream walker with confidence as the league leaders made it 33:26 in Kiel through their own ranks. The THW won many duels against the six-meter throwers Felix Claar, Janus Smarason and Omar Ingi Magnusson. But the three Magdeburgers got the ball transported to the outside almost every time: National player Lukas Mertens and the 90 percent man Tim Hornke stood there and scored 15 goals together.
The SCM under Wiegert has long since rehearsed a plan b) and c) if their usual goal guarantees fail. In Kiel it was the wingers, in other games it was the Dane Mika Damgaard who scored from distance. The tempo game that used to be a defining feature and is now rarer can also be a help – a few goals were scored in the first half to move from 5:5 to 10:5. While Kiel acted haphazardly when it came to counterattacks, Magdeburg’s ball ran automatically before anyone scored.
It was the 28th Magdeburg game in a row without defeat. Wiegert’s students have long since developed a naturalness in their performance that is reminiscent of the French at the European Championships. But while the new European champions rely on the class of individuals in the tight moments, Magdeburg solves its tasks as a group. So it was a success that was not enthusiastically celebrated afterwards when the Ostseehalle was silent. Coach Wiegert also took note of him coolly when he said: “It’s always good to be two points more ahead of the THW.” There are already eight points.
Frank Heike Published/Updated: Recommendations: 2 Frank Heike, Hamburg Published/Updated: Recommendations: 6 Frank Heike Published/Updated: Recommendations: 3
Magdeburg has been undefeated in Kiel since 2017. Their handball is modern, style-defining, successful – even the triple of championship, cup victory and Champions League victory seems possible. THW Kiel last achieved this in the 2011/2012 season.