Speed has always fascinated handball fans, with the teams’ ‘sharpshooters’ always taking the plaudits when they outperform themselves and score superb goals against the best goalkeepers.
At the final weekend of EHF EURO 2018 is benefitting from the introduction of the iBall, an innovative handball that has a built-in tracking chip which relays information about speed and shooting positions.
After no player shot a ball faster than 100 km/h on the final weekend of the Women’s EHF EURO 2014 (back then, speed guns were used to measure the shots), this time four players have topped this threshold in the semi-finals.
This could mean that handball is getting faster and stronger, with players constantly shooting at speeds over 90 km/h.
The fastest recorded shot was from Dutch player and left back Lois Abbingh, who left French goalkeeper Laura Glauser without a chance in the semi-final, netting at 108 km/h.
“It is nice to keep track of this, but in the end it doesn’t matter how fast a shot goes in, as long it does. I think the missed shots could be measured too, because I had some shots that hit the post that I believe were even faster,” said Abbingh.
Her club Rostov-Don is well represented in the top row of the fastest shooters at EHF EURO 2018, as Abbingh is followed by her teammate, Anna Sen.
The Russian back scored in the semi-final against Romania with a 106 km/h fast shot.
“I know Lois leads this ranking and we will try to do our best in Rostov and score many goals in our club with powerful shots,” said a smiling Sen.
There were two other players whose shots were faster than 100 km/h: Swedish back Carin Stromberg and Romanian left back Gabriela Perianu.
“Did I? Well, that is nice, I did not know I could shoot that hard,” smiled Stromberg when she found out that one of her goals was recorded at 101 km/h.
Abbingh can see her record broken in the last two matches of EHF EURO 2018, the bronze medal match between Netherlands and Romania, and the big final between Russia and France, when iBall will be used again.