2023 IHF Young Female World Player of the Year nominees revealed

25 Feb. 2024

2023 IHF Young Female World Player of the Year nominees revealed

The coveted IHF World Player of the Year award has undergone a swift makeover, as the International Handball Federation (IHF) have decided to refresh the yearly award reserved for the best players in world handball.

2023 marks the introduction of the IHF Young Male Player of the Year and the IHF Young Female Player of the Year, which underline the penchant for identifying and nurturing new talents. 

The fans have a say in the final standings of the IHF World Player of the Year awards, but the new formula sees an equal percentage of the final decision between three categories, for a better representation and a level-playing field for all the nominees. 

The fans will still have the power, as the votes casted will represent a third of the final standings. Another third will be reserved to the coaches who led their national teams at the IHF Men’s World Championship and the IHF Women’s World Championship. The IHF Commission of Coaching and Methods (CCM) will have the final third of the decision, with the awards being sealed by the player that has the best percentage throughout the three categories.

For all categories, three players have been shortlisted by the IHF Commission of Coaching and Methods (CCM), based on their performances in 2023, having impressed throughout the last year on the courts. The nominated players will be presented on a category-by-category basis over the next days.

For the 2023 IHF Young Female World Player of the Year, the nominees are Germany’s right back Viola Leuchter, Czechia’s left back Charlotte Cholevová and France’s centre back Lena Grandveau.

Charlotte Cholevová (Czechia)

A diminutive left back, packing a hugely powerful shot, Charlotte Cholevová announced her excellent potential at the 2022 IHF Women’s Junior World Championship, where she was the joint top scorer of the competition, with 64 goals, an impressive performance for a player featuring for a side which did not fight for a medal.
Having already made her debut at the IHF Women’s World Championship at Spain 2021, Cholevová returned for Denmark/Norway/Sweden 2023, where she finished in the top 10 goal scorers and was a crucial member of Czechia’s team, which ended up eighth, qualifying for the quarter-finals of the world handball flagship competition for the second time in a row.

Lena Grandveau (France)

Grandveau was largely touted as the next big thing to come from France’s pipeline of talented young players and her potential was also shown in 2022, when she was the starting centre back of the team which took part in the 2022 IHF Women’s Junior World Championship. But 2023 signalled the start of something fresh and new for Grandveau, making the big step towards the senior national team.

Not only Grandveau made her debut at the IHF Women’s World Championship, she also helped France win the title, being instrumental in several matches, but especially in the final against Norway, where she scored five goals, being her side’s top scorer in the match, while also winning the first major title in her career.

Viola Leuchter (Germany)

At only 19 years old, Leuchter was one of the youngest players at the 2023 IHF Women’s World Championship, but also one of the most impressive considering her age and lack of experience, scoring 23 goals, but also being a key lynchpin in Germany’s defence, with seven steals.

Unfortunately for Leuchter, her knee injury suffered in the last match of the competition cast a shadow over her performance, but the towering right back was also named the “Best Young Player” at Denmark/Norway/Sweden 2023, making her appearance in the All-Star team.

The voting will be open for the fans from Monday, 26 February, from 16:00 CET, to Monday, 11 March, at 23:59 CET, therefore two full weeks for the fans to vote for their favourites and help them win the prestigious award. 

All the votes will be casted on the IHF official website, with voting cards readily available after all the nominees for all the categories have been presented. After Monday, 11 March, at 23:59 CET, no votes will be available to be cast.

Voters are reminded that performance in 2023 should be the sole consideration, and that competitions or matches played in the early stages of 2024 do not form part of the decision for the 2023 awards.