Triumphant conclusion to an outstanding home tournament: Germany's young handball players have been crowned U21 world champions for the third time after 2009 and 2011. The team of national coach Martin Heuberger prevailed in the final on Sunday in front of 8235 spectators in Berlin against Hungary with 30:23 (14:11) and was rewarded with gold. "We wanted to use the U21 World Cup to show how good the training of our talents is. The boys have sold very well," praised DHB President Andreas Michelmann.
The outstanding man on the floor was goalkeeper David Späth, who parried 41 percent of the Hungarian throws. The best German throwers were Elias Scholtes from Bergisches HC and Justus Fischer from TSV Hannover-Burgdorf, each with six goals. Iceland had previously secured World Cup bronze by beating Serbia 27:23.
One day after the brilliant 40:30 against Serbia in the semifinals, the DHB team had to crack the hardest nut in the final round in a duel with Hungary, as expected. Both teams initially met on an equal footing and exchanged blows openly for a long time.
Although the German team managed to take a two-goal lead for the first time after 20 minutes at 9:7, the Heuberger protégés were not able to pull away any further. Only with the last action before the break whistle did Scholtes give the DHB selection a three-goal cushion, which quickly grew to five goals after the change.
An important factor on the German side was once again goalkeeper Späth from the DHB Cup winner Rhein-Neckar Löwen. The 21-year-old presented himself in outstanding form and became the match winner with numerous saves. With his sometimes spectacular saves, he ironed out some of the lack of concentration of the people in front of him at the end.
Although the Magyars came back to three goals after the change, the DHB selection did not allow more. On the contrary: Twelve minutes before the end, the lead grew to 25:18 for the first time to seven goals. This broke the resistance of the Hungarians. The young Germans played like they were in a frenzy and were celebrated by the enthusiastic spectators even before the final whistle.
With the World Cup gold, the team crowned a strong home tournament, which was also a complete success for the German Handball Association. Even before the sold-out final, DHB CEO Mark Schober praised the enthusiasm of the fans in the venues in Hanover, Magdeburg and Berlin, where a total of 140,000 spectators attended the games. "That's a very good result. Overall, there were more fans than we had expected," said Schober.
The TV ratings on the special interest channel Eurosport also increased continuously during the course of the tournament. In the semi-final victory of the DHB selection against Serbia on Saturday, at least 600,000 people cheered in front of the television sets, and there could have been even more in the final.