Beach handball is overshadowed by indoor handball. The first-time win of the World Cup by the German women triggers great jubilation – and could give the sport a boost.

Germany’s beach handball players danced exuberantly Sirtaki in the sand of Heraklion after the historic World Cup triumph, then captain Lucie-Marie Kretzschmar won the gold for the first time

“It’s a unique feeling. We played like mad. What happened here is incredible, »said the daughter of handball icon Stefan Kretzschmar. The proud father was one of the first to wish well on Sunday evening. «We are world champions

Coach: “Writing history”

A year after the European Championship victory, the beach women won the next big title and promoted the sport, which is overshadowed by indoor handball. “We made history,” said national coach Alexander Novakovic. And DHB President Andreas Michelmann congratulated: “To win the World Cup a year after the European Championship is a fantastic success. This is a milestone for German beach handball.”

In a dramatic final against Spain, third in the European Championship, the DHB selection prevailed 2-0 (15:14, 22:20) on Sunday evening. “It just went perfectly,” said the strong goalkeeper Katharina Filter, who is also part of the national squad in the hall. “I’m so proud of this team.” Defense specialist Kretzschmar emphasized the team performance: “Everyone has contributed to this success.”

Nine games, nine wins

With nine wins in nine games, the DHB team was unstoppable at the World Cup. Thanks to a strong defense and a high effectiveness in attack, the European champion didn’t lose a set in the whole tournament. “It’s a historic success that has never happened before,” praised Novakovic. “The girls have achieved legendary status.”

The title means the provisional culmination of several years of development work. After silver at the World Cup in 2006, it had become quiet about the “beach players”, who have only been taking part in major tournaments again since 2015 after an eight-year absence. The boom in the sand variant is closely linked nationally and internationally with the hope of being included in the program of the Olympic Games. After the application for Paris 2024 was rejected, the world association IHF is now hoping for an Olympic premiere in Los Angeles in 2028.

Kretzschmar and Co. don’t think that far yet. The DHB selection is already ten days away in the USA for the World Games in Birmingham/Alabama (July 7th to 17th). “It starts again from zero,” Novakovic warned against too high expectations. His players didn’t care at first. Captain Kretzschmar issued the motto: “As the first German world champion, you have to celebrate properly.”