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28.05.2015, 22:56
Rocky road to capital of handball
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NEWS FEATURE: VELUX EHF FINAL4 participants bothered by lost luggage and delayed planes.

»EHF CL Channel »
 

Rocky road to capital of handball

Sometimes it is not as easy as expected to arrive at the pinnacle event of the club handball season. Mainly Vive Tauron Kielce and THW Kiel had some stories to tell, when they finally arrived at the Radisson Blu, the official team hotel of the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne. Both had some problems with their flights.

The Kielce team took the way from Warsaw via Munich to Cologne – and when they came to the luggage belt of Cologne Airport some pieces were missing. The suitcases and bags of coach Talant Dujshebaev and two players got lost on its way to Cologne.

One hour after arriving in the hotel, Kielce already headed for their first training session – and Talant needed to borrow some shoes. Asked, if important things like the tactics board or the whole tactic for the semi-final against Barcelona are in the lost luggage, he just laughed: “I have no tactics” – and disappeared to the first training. “The trip was quite long, but now we are, where we belong,” goalkeeper Slawomir Szaml added.

THW Kiel were hit even harder on their short domestic flight from Hamburg to Cologne. Their plane needed to be changed due to technical problems, thus they arrived with a more than two hours delay at the team hotel.

“When the mechanics started to screw at the powertrain, we knew that somethings is wrong. Later on the captain announced that a sensor is out of order, so we had to wait for a new plane,” manager Thorsten Storm explains the delay.

And even their Zebras mascot, who took the motorway from Kiel to Cologne, was late. Their transporter was stopped by heavy rain and hail.

On the other hand, MKB-MVM Veszprem had no travel problems at all. “We met Kielce at the airport, searching for their luggage,” said Csaba Hajnal, director of the Hungarian champions.

“It’s nice to be back here for the fifth time,” said Veszprem's right back Christian Zeitz, who arrived in the team hotel not wearing the THW jersey for the first time.

Three years ago, Marko Vujin took the opposite direction, transferring from Veszprem to Kiel – and was highly excited to see his old teammates in the hotel. Hajnal even asked his former player for an autograph.

When Veszprem and Kielce arrived nearly at the same time from the airport at 6:15 pm (one hour prior to Kiel), FC Barcelona had already had their first training session. “Everything’s perfect. Our flight arrived nearly in time and the training session went well,” said manager Xavier o’Callaghan.

One Barcelona player arrived with a special – and double – motivation: Kiril Lazarov. Having 99 goals on his tally, the Macedonian is just two goals behind Momir Ilic (101), who wants to defend his title as VELUX EHF Champions League top scorer.

“Wait and see on Sunday. Momir is good, but I want to win this golden ball for the third time, and raise it together with the Champions League trophy,” Lazarov said.

Check the gallery of Kielce's arrival here
Check the gallery of Barcelona's arrival here
Check the gallery of Kiel's arrival here
Check the gallery of Veszprem's arrival here


TEXT: EHF / br
 
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