We follow the main players of the EHF EURO 2022 at the Olympic Games
We were there for the Spanish-French match in Tokyo and we could enjoy top handball. Attention: exactly the same will be waiting for us between January 13 and 30, 2022! Rodrigo Coralles and Kentin Mahé also strengthened us in this.
We can rub our palms, because – seeing the balance of the international field – we will have a great two weeks ahead of us next January. The Olympic programme of Europe’s most popular team sport is already bringing great excitement, even though the teams are only nearing the end of the group stage.
Despite the empty stands of Yoyogi National Stadium (which is a very painful sight anyway), there is still a huge battle going on on the pitch.
In the first week of the tournament, when European teams played against each other, without exception, only a single goal was the difference in favor of the winner – until Friday. The Spaniards beat the Germans and Norwegians 28-27, the Swedes beat the Portuguese 29-28, and the French beat the Germans 30-29. What’s more, only one of the South American and Asian teams could only win against a European team, Egypt caught the Portuguese – what else indicates the European dominance of the sport if not this.
We’re lucky to be there at Friday’s French-Spanish game on the spot, the two unbeaten battles where the French eventually pulled in the victory, showing a lavish shooting efficiant and scoring 37 goals (ending 37-31).
Three players of Telekom Veszprém, Rodrigo Coralles, Jorge Maqueda and Kentin Mahé, were also on the field, and we asked both of them at the end of the match – about the upcoming European Championship also.
“We’re there in the quarterfinals, that was our goal, but we still have to bring the match against the Argentines. It won’t be easy, we’re 14, we’ve lost Viran Morros, ”said Rodrigo Coralles, who spent a half on the field. „The French team was better today, but the point is, we're there among the last eight.”
The goalkeeper of Veszprém is very hopeful that there will be spectators at the European Championship in the stands, and not a few!
„First of all, I congratulate Hungary on hosting the European Championship. The most important thing I hope for is that the situation caused by the pandemic will improve. We could see what the atmosphere was like at the football matches in Budapest in the summer, I hope that the handball fans will also have a chance to watch the bests of the world. I'll be there and support the Hungarian team, but maybe you won't mind if the Spanish too.”
Kentin Mahé, the French class, was, of course, happier.
„Our shooting efficiency was 77 percent, it was a parade against such a team, it was the key for the succes. Spanish goalkeepers usually defend around 50 percent, that wasn’t the case today. I’m more glad we were balanced all along: there used to be a 4-5 minute miss, it wasn’t like that today, ” said Kentin Mahé, who also asked about the European Championships.
„Hungary is doing a good job, I have no doubt that a lot of people will come out to support us. The Hungarian national team is developing year by year, there is a huge potential in it, and if you ask me, it could be worthy of a medal at the European Championship, ” added the playmaker-winger of Veszprém.
We were delighted with his words and also being able to enjoy the men’s tournament at the Tokyo Olympics until August 7, with seven European leading teams taking part in the European Championship.