Things are going well for Julius Kühn, both on the dart board and on the handball field. Regardless of whether it is about throwing an arrow from a distance of almost two and a half meters into a field that is not even one centimeter wide or a ball from nine, ten or eleven meters into a barely recognizable gap between the goalkeeper and the post – this is what the European Championship is doing no German handball player more precise than the backfield player from Bundesliga club MT Melsungen.
After three games, Kühn, 26, is the most successful scorer in his team, with 14 goals in 16 attempts. Of the top 20 in the entire tournament, none has a higher hit rate – 88 percent. Most recently, the right-handed player on Monday 28:27 against Latvia contributed eight goals to help his team reach the main round. “Up to the 50th minute we found good solutions in the attack, mostly thanks to Julius Kühn,” said national coach Christian Prokop after the difficultly shaken victory. The Kiel district runner Patrick Wiencek put it more drastically: “Julius saved all of us.”
Its dynamics were sorely missed at the home World Cup a year ago
After the moderate preliminary round in Trondheim / Norway with a slap by defending champion Spain (26:33) and two less than convincing victories over the European Championship newcomers Netherlands (34:23) and Latvia, the almost two meter tall and almost two hundredweight is now bold hope in person for the selection of the German Handball Federation (DHB). It set itself the goal of the semifinals before the European Championship and must now prevail against four stronger opponents in the main round in Vienna to reach it: Belarus (Thursday / ARD), Croatia (Saturday / ZDF), host Austria (Monday / ARD) and finally the Czech Republic (Wednesday / ZDF, 8.30 p.m. each).
“With back goals and a good defense and goalkeeper performance, we will win a game like that against Belarus”, Prokop announced before the first game in the Wiener Stadthalle: “We have top circle runners, but you need spaces, and Julius was someone against Latvia who took on a lot of responsibility. “
In fact, behind his club colleague Kai Häfner, he is also the best template for the DHB team at this European Championship. Häfner has already prepared ten goals, Kühn has six. Paul Drux and Philipp Weber, who are basically responsible as game designers in the back room for deploying their co-workers, have so far achieved five each.
Julius Kühn is not really a passer, he is a shooter, as the mighty men are called for the simple goals in handball. One who, if necessary, can have the ball hiss like a laser beam over the defense into the goal corner with a short run-up and from a greater distance. This dynamic was sorely missed at the home World Cup last year, which Kühn missed due to a cruciate ligament tear. With him there might have been more than fourth place – there is no one like Kühn in the DHB selection again.