Olympics without two top people: DHB team experiences “bitter loss”

Olympia without two top people
DHB team experiences “bitter loss”

The German national handball team will only qualify for the Olympic Games in March. Patrik Wiencek and Fabian Wiede are still involved in the decisive games. Now the two service providers have to cancel the trip to Tokyo. The failures hit the national coach hard.

No Patrick Wiencek, no Fabian Wiede: The German national handball team surprisingly has to forego two of their top performers in their declared mission Olympic gold. Circle runner Wiencek from THW Kiel and left-hander Wiede from den Füchsen Berlin canceled their participation in the Tokyo Games – both do not feel fit enough after surviving injuries. “This is a major loss for our team,” said national coach Alfred Gislason.

Above all, the rejection of Wiencek, who with his club colleague Hendrik Pekeler should form the bulwark in the German defense, is painful. “I have invested everything to make my dream of Tokyo come true. It hurts my soul that I have to do without,” said the 32-year-old. After a broken fibula (May 13th), Wiencek was already playing for Kiel again. The hardships that Tokyo bring and the preparation for it are obviously too much for him.

“With a heavy heart”

Ironically, it is the shoulder that prevents Wiede from traveling to Tokyo.

(Photo: imago images / Sportfoto Rudel)

Wiede, like Wiencek, bronze medalist in Rio in 2016, has given up due to persistent shoulder problems that had already led to his participation in the World Cup in January being canceled. “Unfortunately, my story repeats itself,” he said, emphasizing: “I can’t use my shoulder to help the team throughout the tournament.” That is why he “with a heavy heart” decided not to. The left-hander would also have been an option for the middle back.

DHB sports director Axel Kromer also reacted somewhat disillusioned to the cancellations when the expanded, 28-strong squad was announced. “Both played a major role in our deliberations,” he said, the hope of “being able to draw on the full” has now been dashed. The failures of Wiencek and Wiede, affirmed Kromer, are “a weakening that we have to compensate in the very short preparation time”.

The preparation for the Olympics begins on July 5th in Herzogenaurach. It includes international matches in Nuremberg against Brazil (July 9, 8:15 p.m.) and Egypt (July 11, 3:05 p.m. / both Sport1). On Monday, Gislason will have to reduce his expanded squad to an expected 17 players – 14 plus one will initially be nominated for Tokyo. Gislason emphasized after the rejection of Wiencek and Wiede: “To deal pragmatically with the situation is and will remain the only option.”