55 years ago, the journey of Czechoslovak handball players for gold began at the World Championships in Sweden.
Five medals out of five World Cups
Four Slovaks also took part in the triumph in coach Bedřich König’s great team. Anton Frolo, Martin Gregor, Vladimír Seruga and Rudolf Horváth. Of the four-champion champions, only the last of them lives.
“It was an honor for me to be in the company of such fantastic players. My boyhood dream came true. Everyone on the team was a strong personality.
Despite my age, I was accepted, accepted my game, skills, player thinking, “recalls Rudolf Horváth, 74, who was the youngest player on the team at the 1967 World Championships. He was only nineteen.
At that time, Czechoslovak handball was one of the absolute world leaders, and from five World Championships it always brought precious metal. In 1954 bronze, 1958 silver, 1961 silver, 1964 bronze. In 1967, it finally came out. Honey!
What a match, what a great victory. In the D-group, the Czechoslovak handball players excelled: they defeated France 25:10, Tunisia 23:10, Denmark 24:14. The Swedes did not stop them in the quarterfinals either – 18:11.We pay attention News, discussions, comments … Join us and follow our FB page Šport.Pravda.sk
The sold-out hall in Helsingborg was whistled by the home team. Coach Kurt Wadmark, a man who signed two gold medals at the World Cup, was attacked by hooligans and beaten.
After this match, he declared that Czechoslovakia played the most beautiful handball, and there was talk of a Czechoslovak handball school.
“But we had a semi-final battle with the Romanians ahead of us. We didn’t win this opponent for six long years. We also played against them in preparation for the World Cup.
We drew at 14:14 in Prague and 11:15 in Bratislava in the hall at Pasienky. Criticism has come down on us, “recalls Horváth, who became a university professor after his handball career and devoted himself mainly to pedagogical work.
They took the prize for the first time
The Romanians stood in their way in the semifinals. “We started badly. We soon lost 1: 5. We couldn’t keep the legendary bomber Gruiu. But the Romanians already felt like winners and paid for it, they lost 17:19.
It turned out that we were better prepared physically and in terms of games, “continues Horváth, a long-time support of the Prešov Tatra, who, however, traveled to the World Cup as a Dukla Prague player.Read more Hungarians do sports on a different level. Our conditions are deplorable
The Romanians won two championships before and after the 1967 World Cup. Czechoslovakia ruined their unique series – five titles in a row. In the final, an opponent was waiting, who was already blown away in the group – Denmark. In Västeras enjoyed the Czechoslovak Republic 14:11.
“We knew it would be a different match than in the group. It was a big tactical fight. The Danes felt at home. The final was played at the ice stadium on concrete, it was just painted white. We have adapted better to the demanding conditions, “emphasizes Horváth.
The first thing that comes to mind when remembering the gold championship is the fact that the team was extremely confident.
“Before leaving for the championship, they did a survey with us and up to five players – I was one of them – said that we would win the title. After the matches in the group, I sent my parents a postcard with a short text:
The world champions send a heartfelt greeting from Sweden. All teammates signed. I still have the postcard in the family archive. “
Hundreds of people welcomed them at the airport in Prague, including several well-known actors and singers. And an unexpected thing happened.
For the first time, handball players received financial rewards – from two thousand to ten thousand crowns. “From today’s point of view, only minor, but we were surprised, we had no idea that we could receive any reward at all,” explains Horváth.
In the beginning, the Norwegians are standing again
This glorious history cannot be compared to the present. However, Horváth found one parallel.
“In qualifying for the 1967 World Cup, we met with the Norwegians. They offered us to play both matches on their soil. We agreed and although we lacked Dukla Praha players, we clearly won twice. Since then, the situation in European handball has changed significantly.Read more The two will watch the championship on television. The handball players have closed the nomination for the European Championships
The Norwegians belong to the top and will be our rivals on Thursday in the first match at the European Championships in Košice. I’m especially looking forward to this confrontation. “
He recalls that handball has also changed a lot in recent decades. “It’s more aggressive, harder, more physical. We played more combined, we didn’t defend so closely.
The development is also influenced by several changes in the rules, “says the former head of the Czechoslovak Handball Association, who, as the vice-chairman of the organizing committee, participated in the organization of the 1990 World Championships in Czechoslovakia.
The Slovácko matches will not be missing in the Steel arena. “It is difficult to assess the current performance and chances of the teams, because the covid has significantly affected the sporting events and training.
That’s why the first matches indicate a lot. Ours have not played for a long time, I am curious in what form they will present themselves at home, “recalls Horváth.
Slovaks will meet Russia and Lithuania in the F-group after Norway. “Russia is traditionally a strong opponent, but I have not seen him in the match for a long time and I do not dare to estimate his current strength in this case either.
However, Slovaks are not among the favorites to advance from the group, but I do not want to depreciate them in advance. Surprises often happen in sports… “
Source: Pravda – Šport – Futbal – Hokej by sport.pravda.sk.
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