Injury-hit THC dream of ticket to BudapestArticle
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NEWS REPORT: German champions will start main round without Wohlbold, Snelder and Jakubisova

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Injury-hit THC dream of ticket to Budapest

It was the 30 November, when Thüringer HC was shocked. In the last but one test match of the German national team prior to the world championship in Serbia against Sweden, Kerstin Wohlbold stumbled, fell and screamed.

She tore her crucial ligament and parts of her meniscus. The playmaker of the German champions is out for the rest of the season.

“This is terrible, as without her our chances to reach the FINAL4 in Budapest decreased rapidly. You cannot replace a player like her,” coach Herbert Müller says.

It is not only Wohlbold, who suffers from a long-term injuries, as additionally line player Dannick Snelder (broken nose)  and right back Lydia Jakubisova (out for the rest of the season after torn crucial ligament) will definitely miss the start of the main round Group I on next Saturday.

Therefore THC signed left handed Svenja Huber from their league rival Koblenz/Weibern in December.

On domestic court Thüringer HC is leading the ranking after 16 wins in 17 matches ahead of their local rivals HC Leipzig and are clear favourites of winning the championship again, which this season is played in a new mode, as the six best ranked team play a “champions’ round” in the round-robin system.

However, in the German Cup quarter-final they were eliminated by Bayer 04 Leverkusen (32:34).

On international ground THC proceeded to the main round for the first time in club history – and were lucky after the draw.

“Compared to other group it is much easier to qualify for the FINAL4 in this group,” said Müller. His team will face Sävehof, Midtjylland and Skopje.

“If our squad would be complete, we really could dream of the ticket to Budapest. But in our current situation it will be really tough. But we fight until the end,” left back Nadja Nadgornaja said.

Never since the start of the competition in 1993, a German team have made it to the semi-finals. In a real final in their last group match, THC earned the ticket to the next stage by beating Hypo Niederösterreich.

“We want to represent German handball in a positive and successful way. If we win our home matches and take one or two points in away games it is possible to go further,” said Müller, for whom the “world selection” of Vardar Skopje is the main favourite of winning this group.

THC back court ace Alexandrina Barbosa will meet some former Valcea teammates in the duel with the Macedonian champions, who are also main round debutants. “Maybe the results of our duels with FC Midtjylland will decide the outcome of this group, but we should not underestimate Sävehof,” says Müller.

TEXT: Björn Pazen / br