Germany women's beach handball team nominated for IWGA Athlete of the Year 2021

04 Jan. 2022

Germany women's beach handball team nominated for IWGA Athlete of the Year 2021

The Germany women’s beach handball team are one of the candidates competing in an online vote to win the prestigious ‘The World Games Athlete of the Year 2021’ award.

It is the eighth time that the International World Games Association (IWGA) has run the award, which ‘honours an athlete or a team for their outstanding performance, or for their social commitment or particularly fair behaviour.’

If you are a fan of the team, beach handball or handball show your support by voting, following these steps – and tell a friend, too! Voting opens at 09:00 CET on Monday, 10 January!

How to vote

1. Visit the IWGA voting page here 

2. Go to the Germany women’s team / beach handball picture

3. Click on ‘Vote’ – you can vote once every 24 hours

4. You must vote each time for TWO candidates. Two votes go to your first-choice candidate (Germany women’s beach handball team) and one vote to your second choice. If you try to give votes to one candidate only, the votes will not be registered. This is to bring The World Games family closer to each other through introducing athletes to more than just their ‘own’ fans.

5. Once you have voted, share your vote on your social media channels, using the hashtag #beachhandball and tell all of your friends to vote for the Germany women’s beach handball team, too.

Other information:
The numbers of votes cast for each candidate will be visible throughout the campaign. All voters shall act in accordance with fair play in sport. The IWGA will scrutinise the voting process closely, and any anomalies that appear will be investigated. Any conduct that is against the sporting spirit may result in consequences.

About the Germany women’s beach handball team

The Germany women’s beach handball team won the EHF Beach Handball EURO 2021 in Bulgaria last July after finishing 10th in the previous edition (2019) and not even participating in three editions (2009, 2011, 2013). 

They earnt the first medal for the European country in the sport at the 2000 European Championship (silver), with their second silver following soon after, at the 2001 World Games in Akita, Japan – a further three European and one World Championship medals were collected by 2007.

The 2021 medal, won after beating Denmark in the final last year, marked a return to the beach handball podium for the side, who was built on the success of the bronze medals won by the nation at the 2018 and 2019 Younger Age Category European Beach Handball Championships.

Coached by Alexander Novakovic, the 2021 champions feature Lucie Marie Kretzschmar, daughter of the legendary seven-a-side handball player Stefan Kretzschmar and granddaughter of Waltraud and Peter Kretzschmar, defensive specialist Isabel Kattner and goalkeeper Katharina Filter, who played over two-and-a-half hours in seven games for the Germany women’s side at the 2021 IHF Women’s World Championship.

Filter (best goalkeeper) and Kattner (best defender) were named in the EHF Beach Handball EURO 2021 All-star Team, with Amelie Möllmann’s 80 points making her Germany’s top scorer, helping her side to 11 wins out of 11 games in Varna, with no sets dropped in the preliminary round, main round and the final. 

“I have no words for this team,” Novakovic said. “We lost no game, it's unbelievable. Two years ago, we were in 10th place, and now European champions.”

“It is still unbelievable, even coming into the final,” Kirsten Walter added. “We lost all week two sets but did not think about the gold. We did it step by step. We wanted to follow the plan, that was the way to success.”

Past beach handball / IWGA award representation

In 2018, the Greece women’s beach handball team received more than 15,000 votes placing fifth overall, while Brazil men’s beach handball team were in contention last time out, in 2019, their second time they were shortlisted, following their 2014 nomination.    

July 2014, saw the Brazil men’s beach handball team win the ‘IWGA Team of the Month for July 2014’ award after winning the 2014 IHF Men’s Beach Handball World Championship on home sand, while their women’s team finished 13th in the ‘IWGA Greatest Athlete of All Time’ award with 17,153 votes.

The ‘Handball Ninja’, a.k.a. USA men’s beach handball player Ebiye Jeremy Udo-Udoma, won the ‘IWGA Athlete of the Month’ award in June 2020. 

The World Games 2022

After being rescheduled by one year, due to the postponement of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, The World Games Birmingham 2022 (TWG2022) in Alabama, United States of America takes place from 7-17 July. 

The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the International World Games Association (IWGA) under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee. Birmingham 2022 will be the 11th edition of the event and it is set to feature 600 athletes from more than 30 sports and 100 countries – including beach handball, with Germany’s women already qualified as continental champions.

Photo: kolektiff / Uros Hocevar