Norway defeats Dutch ‘models’ to claim 7th European handball title

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Norway won their 7th championship title after a 30-29 victory over the Netherlands. France captured the bronze medal, after a 25–22 victory over Denmark.

It was the third win in a row against for Norway after the World Cup final and the match for bronze at the Olympics.

From the first second the pace was very high and Netherlands showed their fitness by taking the initiative.

Especially Danick Snelder was gaining momentum with five goals before halftime. Norway, which adorns majority of international titles, was not impressed. The teams were leveled 15-15 at halftime.

In the second half things went wrong for the Orange ‘supermodels’. The passing was sloppy and corners attacks were not completed. The Norwegians (loudly encouraged by a large fan base) seized their opportunity.

Nycke Groot, who was named as the best player of the tournament, could still occasionally turn the tide in previous matches. But she was not able to turn the tide.

Norway ran out to 26-21 and the match seemed to be decided. Holland came to a point, but  Norway did not cave and picked up a seventh European title.

EHF EURO 2016 All-star team

No fewer than six countries are represented in the Women’s EHF EURO 2016 All-Star team, presented by the tournament’s official sponsor Grundfos, which the European Handball Federation has announced just hours before the final throw off.

Netherlands have taken three positions with the best line player in Yvette Broch along with Cornelia ‘Nycke’ Groot being awarded the Most Valuable Player of the tournament as well as the All-star Team centre back position.

Fans were asked to choose their favourites from a selection of 40 players, five in each position and the best defender. Thousands cast their votes for their favourite players with their votes counting for 40 per cent and an expert panel vote making up 60 per cent to decide the final result.

The event’s Most Valuable Player was selected by the expert panel only. The Dutch playmaker not only impressed with 30 goals and 30 assists before the final, but she was also a driving force in the Netherlands’ first trip to the EHF EURO gold medal game, where they will meet Norway.

Three players in the Women’s EHF EURO 2014 All-Star Team made it back to this year’s star selection, as Romania’s Cristina Neagu defended her left back position, Norway’s Nora Mork retained her right back spot and Spain’s Carmen Martin topped the right wings again.

The 2010 and 2015 World Handball Player Neagu scored 46 goals and added 32 assists in six matches for Romania.

Nora Mork became irreplaceable on the right back position for Norway as she entered the final day as the second best scorer (41 goals), five goals behind Neagu.

Martin netted 27 goals in six matches for the 2014 runners-up Spain, who were eliminated in the main round.

With a permanent member of various All-star Teams in top competitions, Heidi Loke, side lined due to pregnancy, the line player position went to her club teammate from Györ. Broch racked up 21 goals, three assists, six blocks and one steal before the final match.

Norway, the record EHF EURO champions, also filled the left wing position as Camilla Herrem supported their run to the final with 17 goals and a 74 per cent shooting ratio, while Denmark’s Sandra Toft, who entered the bronze-medal game against France with 73 saves out of 209 shots (35 %) claimed the best goalkeeper award.

The best defender award was handed to Beatrice Edwige, who was an instrumental part of France’s impregnable defence throughout the tournament, collecting 12 blocks and one steal before the third place match against Denmark.

The All-star Team for the Women’s EHF EURO 2016 is as follows:

Goalkeeper: Sandra Toft (DEN)
Left wing: Camilla Herrem (NOR)
Left back: Cristina Neagu (ROU)
Centre back: Cornelia ‘Nycke’ Groot (NED)
Line player: Yvette Broch (NED)
Right back: Nora Mork (NOR)
Right wing: Carmen Martin (ESP)
Best Defender: Beatrice Edwige (FRA)
Most Valuable Player: Cornelia ‘Nycke’ Groot (NED)

The players were given their awards by the EHF EURO Ambassadors, an initiative launched by the Women’s Handball Board. The ambassadors include high-profile former internationals such as Valerie Nicolas, Grit Jurack, Karen Brødsgaard, Hanne Hegh and Narcisa Lecusanu.