Petra Blazek, Sonja Frey, Stefanie Kaiser, Nina Neidhart, Josefine Huber and top scorer Katarina Pandza. The list of players who are unable to take part due to a corona infection is long. At least Blazek, Frey, Kaiser and Neidhart theoretically still have hope of being deployed because they have already been in quarantine for more than five days. Team boss Müller was unable to travel at all due to his corona infection. Nevertheless, the Austrian handball women were able to win against China at the beginning. In the end, they clearly lost out against Argentina and Spain.
In an exclusive interview for eXXpressTV, ÖHB sports director Patrick Fölser took stock of the preliminary round: “The conclusion is of course a little clouded by Covid. We won the first game against China with aplomb and made a very concentrated appearance, although we already had four corona failures, ”emphasizes Fölser. In addition, the sports director of the Austrian Handball Federation points out the fact that the coaches could not come. “These are of course conditions that we imagined differently.”
Nevertheless, he praises the handball women especially for their sovereign performance against China. Fölser also went into the last defeat against Spain: “We knew that we would be playing against a medal candidate. Given the situation, that was perfectly fine. Respect how the team has put it through so far. ” Nevertheless, the situation around the players who tested positive is anything but positive: “How heavy that weighs cannot be put into words. We haven’t been to a World Cup for 12 years. There were a lot of players who were waiting for such a chance, ”says Fölser.
The failures of the top performers also broke the hearts of the remaining players, according to Fölser. “It was very difficult to tell them that they were Corona positive. That was two hours before leaving for the China game, ”says Fölser. Nonetheless, today, Wednesday at 6 p.m., it’s against Brazil. The full interview with Patrick Fölser can be viewed here: