European Championship: Bölk before the start of the handball women's European Championship: I have a good feeling

Emily Bölk has known what precious metal feels like since she was a child.

European Championship: Bölk before the start of the handball women's European Championship: I have a good feeling

Emily Bölk has known what precious metal feels like since she was a child.

"I played around with my mom's gold medal as a very small child. That's the big dream that I want to fulfill at some point," said the co-captain of the German women's handball team before the start of the European Championship against Poland Saturday (8.30 p.m./Sportdeutschland.tv) in Podgorica.

Mother Andrea, who became world champion in 1993 with the DHB selection, will then, as so often, keep her fingers crossed in the stands with father Matthias. "I'm very proud to have such a great and successful mom who supports me so much. It's nice to have such support," said daughter Emily.

Bölk with 241 goals in 81 international matches

Although she is only 24 years old, the backcourt player from Ferencvaros Budapest is one of the most experienced players in national coach Markus Gaugisch's squad for the European Championship. Since her debut in the summer of 2016, Bölk has played 81 international matches, in which she scored 241 goals.

However, Bölk has not yet been able to win a medal at a major tournament. The last precious metal for the DHB women was 15 years ago. At that time there was World Cup bronze. Sports director Axel Kromer is also hoping for a good result in the final round, which would also be important for the further development of the sport pushed by the association. "It is very important that women with good performances make themselves known to the public," emphasized Kromer.

For years, the women have not had any notable team successes, "of which we are really proud and which we can use to recruit members," said Kromer: "Of course, the national team can provide the greatest impetus at tournaments to focus on the sport to steer."

Intermediate goal: opening win against Poland

In view of the tough competition, however, it is uncertain whether a medal will be enough at this European Championship. In general, however, the team can "trump with good commitment and a good performance," said Kromer, adding: "The first interim goal is a win against Poland. I have a good feeling about that."

Bölk feels the same way. "We gave it a lot in preparation and got a good feeling. I'm in good spirits," said the 1.82-meter-tall backcourt player on Friday. However, they don't expect an easy task, because the Poles have a strong backcourt with many tall players. "We have to work very actively in defense without losing our compactness," appealed Bölk.

You will play a leading role in this. "Emily is a very important leader for us. She is able to take responsibility and can bring great physicality to both defense and attack. I'm glad I have someone on the team who is still in that has so much experience and quality at a young age," Gaugisch said of the captain, who shares the post with Alina Grijseels.

Bölk also in demand outside of the parquet

Bölk, who made her Bundesliga debut with Buxtehuder SV at the age of 16, is also in demand outside of the arena. "She has a lot of routine and knows how to work for German women's handball. And if the other players need a helping hand, she's there," praised the national coach.

For Bölk this is a matter of course. "It's very important to me that we play well. That's only possible if we act as a team. That's why I put a lot of energy into making sure there's harmony off the field and that there's nothing in between. We're great characters in the team. Everyone has the right to always give 100 percent," she said. Not bad conditions for a successful European Championship.

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