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30.07.2013, 15:25
The rising stars of the Women's 19 EHF EURO: Barbora Königová
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Part 5 feaures a player with a strong sporting family background and a fighting character, who is touted as the bright future of the Slovak women's handball
 

The rising stars of the Women's 19 EHF EURO: Barbora Kӧnigová

Thanks to her father, a Slovakian football international with 47 appearances, Barbora Kӧnigová was not far from becoming a football player herself.

“I used to take her with me to football trainings and she was quite good at kicking the ball. She really liked it.

“Her mum was not so sure if football was the right sport for her because she is a team player. Together we brought her to handball training and ever since then, she has fallen in love with the sport,” explained her father Miroslav Kӧnig, former football goalkeeper, who played for Slovan and FC Basel among other European clubs during his career. 

“My father was always a role model for me. He has achieved so much, travelled the world and did what he liked most –played football. I want to follow his example and be good in what I am doing,” Barbora added. 

Passion for the sport

Kӧnigová is one of the most promising young talents of Slovak handball and Darina Sveráková, her national team coach, has only positive things to say.

“She is very determined and passionate about handball. She loves the sport. I remember in our qualification group, she was sent off in the game against Serbia for direct red card.

“She was banned for the Moldova game. That was the time I said to myself, this girl has what it takes to make it into the handball world.

“She was sad she could not play, but on the other hand, was even more motivated afterwards. She was hungry to be even better, to improve and help the team. She has a great team spirit and she will do everything for the team to win,” said Sveráková.

When starting with handball, goalkeeper was the position for her following the example of her father.

“The first hard shot into my face quickly changed my mind. My first coach said he will turn me into great line player and ever since I have played there.

“I don´t regret it, I love this position and I think I do pretty good job,” said the 19-year-old.

Team leader

Having such a talent in the team helps the coach on and off the court.

“Barbora is hard working and responsible. In position of a line player, she co-operates with her back court players exceptionally well with natural ease. She takes trainings and matches very seriously and she can spread this attitude amongst her playmates. That is her most valuable handball characteristic,” Sveráková told for eurohandball.com.

Being a captain is not an easy function, however being elected by girls in the team gives much more confidence.

“The girls see sort of example in me. It is a big motivation not to disappoint them. I push them to play their best, it´s a responsibility on its own.

“On the other side I got used to the pressure by now. I am not a dominant person in life, but I have my word in the locker room.

“I hate losing, but as I get older, I am aware that it is a part of sport. A good athlete must accept defeats and enjoy victories,” said Kӧnigová.

Senior experience

Currently on a year loan in Partizánske, playing the WHIL (Women´s Handball International League), she looks forward the new challenge ahead of the upcoming season, gaining more valuable experience in the senior handball: “It is a step forward in my career and I am very happy to take it“.

When asked about the senior national team, Barbora is very humble.

“My thoughts are with the under-19 team and Denmark. Playing for the national senior team would be a dream come true for me, but we have to concentrate on what’s coming up next.

“We experienced hard luck at the U17 EHF EURO two years ago in the Czech Republic. We did not do well there, but lot of girls since then, including myself, played lot of matches for their clubs in WHIL, where we gained more confidence,“ said the line player.

Slovakia will take on the favourites from Norway on 1 August in Group A, with matches against Romania and Portugal to follow.

“Norway is the team I look forward meeting the most. I prefer the Nordic style of handball. We are going to Denmark with a clean slate,” concluded Kӧnigová. 


TEXT: Tomas Cuncik / cor
 
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