26 Jun. 2022
Denmark goalkeeper Simon Jensen has made the most saves of the 2022 IHF Men’s Beach Handball World Championship, sitting on 62 from 210 shots faced, for a 30% average.
But there is one statistic which matters to him the most: team wins.
“Of course you want to be the best, that's naturally what you play for,” said Jensen after they beat Uruguay in the quarter-final and before he moved to the top spot in the stats.
“Right now it's all about the team. We play for winning. We play as a team, we win as a team, we lose a team.”
They have not lost when it mattered, with that defeat over Uruguay coming before a semi-final epic against Brazil, which they won in a shoot-out.
The European champions will now face Croatia in the final.
“I mean, it's amazing. It’s hard to describe. I can't remember if Denmark’s men have ever been in a World Championship final?,” he said. They have not.
“We played very well. The offence was amazing in the second half. I didn’t have the best game but I got to finish it at the end.”
That end saw a Denmark golden goal in the second period to take it to shots and then misses and saves in the shoot-out, eventually taken by the northern Europeans.
“The coaches told us to take a deep breath and concentrate on what to do because we had the momentum after Freddie (Frederik Bech Jensen) scored that golden goal,” said Jensen.
“I had my [goalkeeping] colleague Martin Norlund (Christensen) talking with me and not just telling me what to do, but instructing me on how to stay calm and relaxing a little bit.
“It's amazing to be his teammate. He's the best captain you could ever ask for. He’s such a persona and the team and helps everyone around the team; he’s just amazing.”
And the crucial save from Gil Pires in the shoot-out to win the game?
“The last time we played him he shot quick in my right foot,” he said. “This time, he shot it over my head and then I just I was just ready for the left foot this time. We’ve got to home [now], rehydrate get and be ready for tomorrow.
“It's a prize on the prize if you can say like that,” added Jensen about his side confirming their place at the 2023 ANOC World Beach Games after securing a top four place. “But, of course, the main reason we’re here is to win the World Championship.”