China 2024 | "A special" tournament for Croatia and the missed "small details" for Denmark

24 Jun. 2024

China 2024 | "A special" tournament for Croatia and the missed "small details" for Denmark

After the 2024 IHF Men’s Beach Handball World Championships concluded in China, speaks to the players and coaches involved on finals day (Sunday 23 June).

Men’s Competition

Final/Gold Medal Match: Denmark vs Croatia: 0-2 (18:23, 23:18, SO 6:9)

Mladen Paradzik (CRO) – coach Back-to-back titles – do you feel the pressure of being on top?
Mladen Paradzik:
The feeling (of winning) is great. When we saw that we only lost one game in five or six years, we had an additional burden but these guys are amazing. We are noticing this, because when the teams play against us, we can feel that. Because all teams, they don't lose anything if they lose against us. So that is the reason why they have high performance against us and we feel it because the guys are really tired, tired. That's the reason why this title is even sweeter, even better. 

Ivan Juric (CRO) – player Back-to-back titles – what does that say about your team?
Ivan Juric:
Well, we never won the world championship outside of Europe, so this is one special tournament for us. We finally managed to defend the title back-to-back. We were very happy. It was very, very hard. We played against the weather, against the humidity, against the best opponents in the world, including all European countries, South American countries. It was a really, really tough tournament. I guess everybody from my team have lost some weight here, maybe two or three kilos per person, because it was very, very hard. First, physically, then emotionally.

We have character, we are a group of individuals, but we are a team that we hate to lose. I always emphasise this. I guess we know what to do and how to behave in these tournaments. There is a very fierce competition we have to deal with, but we are very, very happy and lucky to be here on top again.

Martin Andersen (DEN) – player Talk us through your emotions now…
Martin Andersen:
It comes down to the small details and we missed a lot of chances in the first half and the reason why I'm a little bit emotional is because I had a lot of opportunities to help my team and come in a better position, especially regarding penalties and some free shots on the wings.

I'm not satisfied with the performance that I put into the first half but it's the small details. It's a save sometimes our goalkeeper hits the ball it goes in and that's how it is when we play against a strong team like Croatia. I just wish that we had the revenge form (losing at) Greece 2022. It's tough, you know, you put a lot of effort and work in to be here and not to fulfil your dreams, it's tough. Despite your disappointment, you have qualified for The World Games and won your second, successive silver medal. This is something to be proud of?
Martin Andersen:
We have never played The World Games before and we're super happy about that. But at the moment, it's just tough. You're not thinking about that, you're thinking about what you could have done differently. The shoot-out, it's spectacular. This game, it's exciting. Whenever you lose, it's sh*t, whenever you win it’s really nice.

Obviously, in a few days, we can look back; it's the second time in a row we're in a world championship final. We never been in a final before in Danish Beach Handball history so that consistency we have been showing by becoming two-time European champion and one-time bronze plus two-time silver world championship medallist, it shows some consistency.

Beach Handball is so tight so to be able to be in the top four in the last five championships it's something we're very proud of. It's also something that reminds ourselves that we have the quality to be here and we're here for a reason.

I just want to win gold. I’m going to go back and train even harder in the rain, wind and snow in Denmark and, hopefully, those cold months is going to pay off in the future.

So, a big shout out to my team. We are a great team and it will just take a little bit of time to understand that.

3/4 Placement/Bronze Medal Match: Germany vs Portugal 0-2 (24:25, 18:20)

Diogo Ferreira (POR) - player How are you feeling after winning bronze?
Diogo Ferreira:
I'm feeling very, very happy. Very proud. This is a placement that some years ago it would be hard to imagine that it would be possible. I'm very proud of my team and everyone. What was the difference between you and Germany?
Diogo Ferreira:
We were growing in the competition. We were very, very focused and we were very determined to get this last match. It's kind of a big difference to be third or fourth. In the European Championship and in the European games, we went to the semi-finals and unfortunately, we lost and we lost the third and fourth placement. So, this time, we tried to make sure that we got it. What do you hope this medal can do for you back in Portugal when you return? Can it open some doors for your team?
Diogo Ferreira:
It means a lot, it's kind of unbelievable. I hope it will open many doors. Because we are doing a job, work that is very remarkable. Sometimes, maybe, we don't have the best opportunities, but even so we strive to be the best and to work together and to work as a team as a group to be better each day and make the best with what we have.