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09.01.2009, 11:50◄ last page     


CL top scorer and fresh European Champion Linn-Kristin Riegelhuth talks to Eurohandball.com. The biggest star of today tells us about private life and career with Norway and Larvik.
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Amazing Linka

Eurohandball.com presents the shining star of Norwegian handball, Linn-Kristin Riegelhuth. The Larvik player scored 46 goals in four matches in a tough Group C showing ever more of her excellent handball.

“Linka” tells us more about her beginning handball, her sports’ philosophy, the biggest achievements and plans for the future among other things…

46 goals in 4 games...Eurohandball.com: How did you start playing handball?

Riegelhuth: I started because my mother was a coach of a girls’ team. I was allowed to join in at age of four I think. And since then I still play and enjoy it.

Eurohandball.com: Do you have any special sports philosophy or life philosophy?

Riegelhuth: I think the most important is to live your life in this very moment. I don’t have a special sports philosophy, but I do think it’s important to always give 100%. Also I don’t want to let others  do anything for me. Everything just depends on me.
 
Eurohandball.com: You have been playing for Larvik for a long time now. How do you feel there and what are your plans for the future?

Riegelhuth: I have been playing here for seven years now. Larvik have a good team and I improved a lot here. Also, I like my team mates and I have a good life here as a handball player, but also outside the court. 

My plan is to continue handball. A decision about a team or a country is not yet made. I have a boyfriend called Einar Sand Koren who also plays handball on a high level. He lives in Oslo, while I live in Sandefjord and we want to live together. So now we have to find out the possibilities. Many clubs showed interest for me. I can stay in Larvik or maybe go to live in Denmark. If I leave Larvik for another team it would only be because I want to live together with Einar and not because of money. Time will tell…   
 
Eurohandball.com: You are still only 24 and you already won many trophies: Olympic gold in Beijing, WCh silver in Russia, EURO gold in 2004, 2006 and 2008. You also won the Cup Winners’ Cup with Larvik in 2005 and 2008. Which trophy was the most important for you?

Celebrating a Norwegian goalRiegelhuth: Every trophy is special for me because there are moments and memories behind every single success that will never be forgotten. But still, I have to say that winning the Olympic Games was the most important trophy. Playing the Olympic Final seemed so unreal. My dream came true. It was maybe my best match ever, so it makes me even happier and even more satisfied with the Olympic gold.

Eurohandball.com: Can you tell me which moment the highlight of your carrier was? What was your biggest achievement?
 
Riegelhuth: I think that the best moments are those when we all work hard together with other players and when we get what we wanted. That feeling is so wonderful and that’s what means a lot. It is also important to discover the great moments in small things.

My biggest achievement is that I’m living my dream and I can play for my country, for the Norwegian flag, to win trophies with my team-mates. I’m also proud to have completed nurse education parallel to my handball carrier. That also makes me very happy and satisfied.

Eurohandball.com: The Norwegian national team has been dominant in women's handball in recent years. What is the secret of Marit Breivik and her team? And which other national teams do you appreciate?

Riegelhuth: There are many good teams in the World and that’s what makes handball a great sport. Every single team has something different from the others and that’s very good.

The EURO Final was a routine job for RiegelhuthMarit Breivik and Thorir Hergeirsson make a very good coaching team. I don’t know whether they have a secret, but they have close communication with the players and they are coaching the team as they think the best is. We also have many good players who are giving 100% for the team in every single match we play.
  
Eurohandball.com: You are working with Marit Breivik in national team and with Karl Erik Bohn in your club. What is the difference?

Riegelhuth: Marit and Karl Erik are very different coaches. They have their own ways of leading a team and creating dialogue with the players. They are different as one is a man and the other is a woman, and they use different tools to reach a result. I like them both and I think it is good for a player to work with more then one coach.

Eurohandball.com: You are like a machine on court. What is going on in your head, what are you thinking of when you run towards the opponents’ goal, approaching a goalkeeper or just before making a shot?

Riegelhuth: Well, my body is well trained and I’m in very good physical shape so I know that’s not something to worry about. When I play I’m totally focused. I’m not thinking about the result. When I’m running against the goalkeeper I don’t think about anything. I just run and my shoot comes after a good jump towards the sky and if I have done everything right in that phase means if it was a goal or not. (smiles)
 
Eurohandball.com: In the first two CL matches you scored 10 goals each, in the last two you scored 13 goals each. Four matches, 46 goals: really impressive figures. There are two more rounds to play; can we expect 16 goals in the next match from you?

Team player with superb team matesRiegelhuth: Thank you for that. I don’t think about how many goals I score, but it’s nice to hear that appreciate my performance. When you score it’s the result of a good work. That gives you motivation for the future and you know that nothing happens by itself. You always need to work hard to reach something. So I’m still working hard with feet on the ground. Not just playing and having fun together with my team and team-mates.

For me and Larvik, the most important is to win the next game and have a chance to get through to the next round. So after the next two matches we will see what we have done. Group C is a very balanced group, so time will tell which teams belong to the eight best teams of Europe.

Eurohandball.com: You played against all three teams already. What do you think about Podravka, Oltchim and Lada? What are their advantages?

Riegelhuth: There are many good teams in the CL. All three in Group C have different players, different coaches and different advantages. Accordingly, it is hard to play against them. I don’t want to comment much; I can only say that there are many great handball players and coaches in all three teams.


TEXT: Ivan Ambroš

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