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Five players tested positive: Corona outbreak among German handball players

Five players tested positive
Corona outbreak in German handball players

Germany’s handball players have to go into their last preliminary round game at the European Championships without a quintet. Five professionals tested positive for the corona virus and immediately went into quarantine. The total number of failures is now seven.

Corona outbreak in the German handball players, the preliminary round is receding into the background: At the European Championships in Hungary and Slovakia, after Julius Kühn and Hendrik Wagner, a quintet around Andreas Wolff also tested positive for the virus. The shock news reached the DHB team less than 24 hours before the duel with Poland on Tuesday (6 p.m. / ZDF and in the live ticker on ntv.de).

“The five players went into isolation in their single rooms. All other delegation members withdrew to their rooms in the team hotel in Bratislava immediately after the results became known,” wrote the DHB in a press release about the German corona cases three to seven. In addition to goalkeeper Wolff, backcourt player Kai Häfner, right winger Timo Kastening, left winger Lukas Mertens and playmaker Luca Witzke are affected. The DHB initially did not communicate any subsequent nominations.

The DHB is in contact with players and clubs in the Handball Bundesliga and the European EHF association regarding possible subsequent nominations. These are also possible outside of the squad of 35 reported at the beginning of December. According to information from the sports information service, the goalkeeper Silvio Heinevetter (MT Melsungen), the Berlin backcourt players Fabian Wiede and Paul Drux as well as the Kiel players Hendrik Pekeler and Rune Dahmke are requested.

After all: test does not automatically mean the end of the EM

On Monday afternoon, initially only the infection of latecomer Wagner was known. The backcourt player from the second division club Eulen Ludwigshafen had no contact with the German team after his arrival in Bratislava. DHB coach Gislason then gathered his team around him during the final training session, and after Wagner’s case became known, all the players in the DHB entourage tried to remain calm and normal. “We manage to focus on the sporty,” said DHB sports director Axel Kromer on the sidelines of the unit.

For Gislason’s team, Monday evening’s quake came at an inopportune time. In the game against Poland, the DHB team is fighting for more than just winning the group. Since the points from the Poland game will definitely be taken into the next phase of the tournament, the German semi-final chances are at stake. After the clear successes against Belarus (33:29) and Austria (34:29), Corona is now more in focus than ever.

Kühn’s case had already sharpened the senses in the German team. “The positive result has thrown a lot of confusion,” said captain Johannes Golla after the Austria game and called the infection of the backcourt player “shock news” for the team. You “felt safe beforehand because we strictly adhered to all the guidelines”. That sense of security is gone now. “In the evening you take the topic to bed with you,” said Luca Witzke, for example: “It can affect anyone, everyone of us knows that.” The current situation also gives Christoph Steinert food for thought. “You can’t get the situation out of your head that easily. You can feel that the impacts are coming closer,” said the left-hander.

A positive test result does not have to be synonymous with the EM-off. After surviving the quarantine with two negative PCR tests, Kühn could theoretically be back in the main round starting on Thursday.

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