Johannes Bitter celebrates a spectacular comeback at the European Handball Championship

Hurry? Oh no. That would be a disadvantage. After corona cases eight and nine, German handball players are in complete emergency. Nothing manages the difficult and insane situation for the DHB team at the European Championships apart from the personal Johannes Bitter. Farewell from resignation, followed by employment as an emergency replacement – and suddenly goalkeeper number one and only shortly before the last opening round match on Tuesday night only a few hours after arrival!

From the couch, the 39-year-old said he had seen the first two German matches “as a fan”, which attracted attention at the European Championships and between posts. Also that within a day. Madness. “If I look back on the last 12 to 15 hours, it’s the craziest thing I’ve ever done in a handball match,” said Bitter of HSV Hamburg, who returned to his 171 races 20 years after making his DHB debut. -the shirt. . Created international competition.

Handball EC: Germany won over Poland 30:23

The opening round final against Poland was also crazy – in the best sense of the word! With a superb performance, the devastated DHB beat their opponent 30:23 (15:12), who had won twice and taken two important points in the main round from tomorrow, where the European champions Spain are waiting. Get started.

“A big compliment”, national coach Alfred Kislason praised his team after the surprising victory, especially at the height. “It was excellent on defense and offensively. Under these conditions, under this pressure, they did well.


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After all, two European Championship debutants. On his 32nd birthday, Christophe Steinert was DHB’s top scorer with nine goals (six seven meters). Best player 21-year-old Julian Koster became the “match match” for second division club Commersback with six stalls.

Bitter passed his cold start, was a consistent supporter and kept what was to take place. Goalkeeper Zambavan was one of 14 players who met Poland in Bratislava on Tuesday night – including five post-pickers who arrived on the morning of match day. That afternoon, goalkeeper Dill Klimpke and left-hander Marcel Schiller were isolated due to a lack of positive PCR testing, in which seven players, including goalkeeper Andreas Wolf, have already been ruled out.

Bitter is suddenly the only goalkeeper. “Of course you would not expect it to get worse,” Bitter explained to MOPO in the initial reaction after his appointment Tuesday morning. “Everything happened so fast.” It was unknown at this time what he would do after leaving the post.

DHB Team: Jockey Bitter was suddenly the only goalkeeper

On Monday night, Gislason called Bitter and asked for help from the 2.05-meter-tall man, who was replaced by Joel Birlem (father of Sunday) and Silvio Heinwetter (ill), who were on the DHB list as temps before him.

After the Olympics in Tokyo, Bitter announced his retirement from the national team. Only at Kislason’s request did the senior, in the event of a total shortage of staff at the DHP gate, open a back door. Then it got even worse.

Bitter is not an easy situation. He became a father two weeks ago, a few days before he was ready for the second half of the season with HSVH.

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“If you’re ready for an emergency and the national coach calls, keep your word,” Bitter insists on MOPO. “I want to help the team in this difficult situation and do everything I can.”

For the main round, DHB has now nominated goalkeeper Daniel Repman (Koppingen) and left winger Patrick Geeker (Stuttgart). In addition to Spain, Germany will meet Norway (Friday), Sweden (Sunday) and Russia (Tuesday).

The German team escaped another major corona wave. The worries persist. It all depends on the results of the next test.

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