Height not an issue for either the shortest or the tallestArticle
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FACE TO FACE: Before Louise Sand and Szimonetta Planéta come face to face on court this weekend we brought the shortest and the tallest player of EHF Women’s Champions League together

Height not an issue for either the shortest or the tallest

Sävehof left wing Louise Sand sees no problem in only being 164 cm tall. She compensates through other qualities, while Szimonetta Planéta knows that being the tallest player in the Women’s EHF Champions League does not guarantee success alone.

Height not an issue for the shortest…

“Better short and quick than tall and slow” goes an old saying in Scandinavia. And Swedish international Louise Sand is a living confirmation of the truth in that. Although she is listed as 164 cm by her club (Sand agues that she is in fact four centimetres taller), the 21-year-old left wing from IK Sävehof is definitely not benefitting from her height on the handball court. She does not see that as a problem at all, though.

“I do not run around on the court, thinking about the fact that I am short. It is correct that I am only 164, but I compensate for my modest height through other qualities. First of all I am fast, and I also benefit from my technical skills.

”I develop these skills a lot through these matches in the Champions League which really mean a lot to me. The international experience I get here also does me good in the national team.

Furthermore, for a wing it is not that big a problem to be short. It would be much worse, if I was a back court player,” says Louise Sand with a smile, who is nicknamed Loui among her friends and teammates.

…or the tallest player in the competition

A back court player, to whom the height is definitely not a problem either will be among Louise Sand‘s and her Sävehof teammates’ opponents Sunday, when the Swedish champions welcome the reigning champions Györi Audi ETO, where right back Szimonetta Planeta measures 36 cm taller than Sand, or 32 if you believe the Swede.

Szimonetta Planéta is the tallest player in the Women’s EHF Champions League with 196 cm. The Győr right back acknowledges that her height comes handy but it alone does not guarantee anything.

“I benefit from my height but at the same time it drives me nuts when I get blocked,” the 20-year-old right back told ehfCL.com

“I still feel that there’s a lot of room to improve. I have international experience under my belt with Veszprém, but Győr and the Champions League is a totally different business. My strength has always been my shooting skills but I need to improve that as well as passing, vision and defence.”

Szimonetta found herself, and in her case it means something, out of her depth as she was signed by Győr and will also play a prominent role in the Hungarian national team at the forthcoming EHF EURO 2014 to be held in Hungary and Croatia.

“This is the most important period of my career so far and I am blessed with the opportunity to work with the best team in the world.”

Strong mutual respect

“I know about her and her height, and I know her to be good shooter, but I cannot say how much she benefits from her size, and I cannot really estimate her qualities as a player before I have seen some more video on her – and we have not talked much about the individual Györ players yet, so I cannot say much more about her,” Louise Sand said about Szimonetta.

Planéta remembers Louise very well as they met previously on international duty.

“Technically she is an amazing player she can do wonders with the ball. I do not think that her height is a disadvantage as she makes up for lack being short with breathtaking technique. I always find it hard to defend against players who are a lot shorter than me as these players are usually technically gifted and very fast. Just like Louise.”

The two players are set to meet this weekend as Sävehof take on Győri Audi ETO on Sunday 26 October in Round 2 of Group C.

TEXT: Bence Mártha, Peter Bruun / cor