Storhamar write history and lift the EHF European League Women trophy

13 May. 2024

Storhamar write history and lift the EHF European League Women trophy

Storhamar Håndball Elite became the first Norwegian club to secure the title in the EHF European League Women, after a flawless display in the EHF Finals Women in Graz, where they engineered a comeback against Neptunes Nantes in the semi-finals and controlled the final against Romanian side Gloria Bistrița.

Two Romanian sides and one each from France and Norway qualified for the EHF Finals women in Graz, Austria, after a lengthy season in the EHF European League Women, and the draw pitted together Gloria Bistrița and Dunărea Brăila, while Storhamar faced Nantes in the other semi-final.

For the third time in four matches in all competitions this season, Bistrița, a rookie in the semi-finals of any European competition, dominated Brăila and put on a clinical performance, especially in attack, led by the magnificent centre back Cristina Laslo, who scored nine goals.

Without a shadow of a doubt, Bistrița qualified for the final, with a 37:26 win, where they faced Storhamar, as the Norwegian side also made it to the last act of an international competition for the first time.

However, their path was a true roller-coaster, especially in the semi-final against Nantes, where they were down three goals with 15 minutes to go. Led by Anniken Obaidli and Guro Nestaker, who combined for 17 goals, Storhamar went on a 3:0 unanswered run in the last two minutes and 17 seconds to clinch a 28:27 win and progress to the final.

In the final, Bistrița started better and took a 15:14 lead at the break, but Storhamar controlled the second half and Obaidli delivered another clinical performance, with nine goals, taking her total in the EHF Finals Women to 17 goals to help the Norwegian side clinch the trophy, with a 29:27 win.

“We played good handball since we started the competition. In the final, it was a great fight from Gloria, it was a hard match. We started well and we believed that together we can come here and win,” said Storhamar’s coach, Kenneth Gabrielsen, according to

The best performance for Storhamar before this season was the quarter-finals of the EHF European League Women in the 2021/22 season, when they were eliminated by Viborg HK with a 71:68 aggregate win.

In the bronze medal match, Neptunes Nantes clinched a 39:38 win against Brăila after penalties, as the 2023 IHF Young Female Player of the Year, Lena Grandveau, scored five goals.

Norway are the 14th country to win the title in the second-tier European competition, after four lost finals, with Baekkelaget Oslo, Tertnes Bergen, Larvik and Vipers Kristiansand having previously lost the title in the last match.

Photo credit: EHF / Kolektiff