Team Players

Team Info

Germany have always been a perennial contender in women’s handball, but at the Olympic Games, their history is scarce, with only four appearances. Germany finished fourth at Los Angeles 1984 and Barcelona 1992, sixth at Atlanta 1996 and 11th at Beijing 2008.

Over the past eight matches in the competition, Germany have won only twice and they have missed out at London 2012, Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020, trying to return after a 16-year wait, with a big chance, as they now host the Olympic Qualification Tournament #3 in Neu-Ulm, where a sold-out arena is expected.

“It’s the greatest thing of all for athletes, it’s the big stage for all sports. And we have the chance to be there, so the nervousness is rising a bit,” said line player Julia Behnke, after the team met on 1 April and started their preparations for the big tournament, where expectations are huge.

Indeed, Germany have been a constant presence in the top-10 of the last major international competitions, ending up on the eighth place at the 2019 IHF Women’s World Championship, seventh at the 2021 IHF Women’s World Championship and sixth in the latest edition of the world handball flagship competition.

At the EHF EURO, Germany have finished seventh in the last two editions, as a young team got more and more experienced, with this core, spearheaded by Emily Bölk, Alina Grijseels and Xenia Smits and with a strong defence has grown and become more and more stable.

“The Olympic qualification is an absolute highlight. Slovenia has one of the best shooters in Ana Gros and Montenegro is extremely experienced. And because of these strengths, we are super happy that we have the tournament at home. We have to counter it with emotion, charisma and toughness,” said Germany’s coach, Markus Gaugisch.

Gaugisch has continued the work of former coach, Henk Groener, and has helped Germany become stronger and tougher, but they will need composure and focus in a very tough competition, with two other European opponents.

Against Montenegro, Germany have lost three of the four matches played in history, 24:25 at the 2011 IHF Women’s World Championship, 20:27 at the EHF EURO 2014 and 25:29 more recently, at the EHF EURO 2022. The only Germany win came at the EHF EURO 2012, 27:20.

Germany and Slovenia have not met since 2006, and only played against each other twice, at the 2003 IHF Women’s World Championship, where Slovenia took a 29:28 win, while Germany took a 31:30 win at the EHF EURO 2006.

Key players: Emily Bölk (left back), Alina Grijseels (centre back), Xenia Smits (left back)

History at the Olympic Games: 1984: 4th, 1992: 4th, 1996: 6th, 2008: 11th

Olympic Qualification Tournament #3 (in Neu-Ulm, Germany): Germany, Montenegro, Slovenia, Paraguay