EHF EURO All-star team announced

Three players represent record winners Norway, while Sweden's Isabelle Gullden becomes the tournament's Most Valuable Player

Photo: Stephane Pillaud

Just hours before the Women's EHF EURO 2014 Final throws off, the European Handball Federation has announced the All-Star team of this championship.

For the first time in the event's history fans participated in the voting for the All-Star team, with their votes counting for 40 per cent and an experts panel vote making up for 60 per cent of the final result.

Over 18,000 fans cast their votes for their favourite players.

From a selection of 40 players, five in each position and the best defender, fans were being asked to choose their favourites. The event's Most Valuable Player was selected by the expert panel only.

Three players of Norway made it to the list as Silje Solberg earned the best goalkeeper award, Heidi Loke claimed the best line player and Nora Mörk topped all right backs of the championship.

With legendary Katrine Lunde sidelined due to pregnancy, the goalkeeping position might have been set to be the weakest link for Norway.

But Solberg turned out to be one of the most instrumental players to lead her country to the final, recording the best saving percentage (42) after she denied 79 out of 190 shots coming towards in seven matches.

Nora Mörk became irreplacable on the right back position for Norway as she entered the final day as the eighth best scorer (34 goals), one rank and one goal behind her teammate Heidi Loke.

The 2011 World Handball Player was one of the players with the highest shooting efficiency (76 %) which made the tournament's best line player.

Sweden, who play for bronze after losing to Norway in the semi-final, are represented with the best defender Sabina Jacobsen and their centre back Isabelle Gullden has been named the Most Valuable Player.

While Jacobsen was one of the Sweden's defensive pillars earning 10 blocked shots and two steals up until Sweden's last match against Montenegro, Gullden has been orchestrating her team's attack being not only the tournament's top scorer with 51 goals, but also led them in assists (21) and proving her worth on the other end of the court with the tournament's best 11 steals before the last two games.

Denmark, who to the surprise of many missed the medal round in Budapest, also have a double represantation in the All-star team.

Maria Fisker earned the best left wing award, while Kristina Kristiansen dominated at the centre back scoring 16 goals and adding 33 assists in her six matches.

The left back position among the stars was claimed by Romania's Cristina Neagu. The 2010 World Handball Player scored 49 goals and added 23 assists in six matches.

The surprising finalists from Spain were represented by their speedy right wing Carmen Martin who scored 42 goals before the final against Norway.

The All-star team of the Women's EHF EURO 2014 is as follows:

Goalkeeper: Silje Solberg (NOR)

Left wing: Maria Fisker (DEN)

Left back: Cristina Neagu (ROU)

Centre back: Kristina Kristiansen (DEN)

Line player: Heidi Loke (NOR)

Right back: Nora Mörk (NOR)

Right wing: Carmen Martin (ESP)

Best Defence Player: Sabina Jacobsen (SWE)

Most Valuable Player: Isabelle Gullden (SWE)

The players were given their awards by the EHF EURO Ambassadors, an initiative launched by the Women's Handball Board.

The ambassodors include high-profile former internationals such as Grit Jurack, Beata Siti, Steluta Luca, Natasa Kolega and Matilda Boson.

written by Vladislav Brindzak / ts


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