NEWS: Swedish rising star shines for a second summer in a row, while Hungary unveiled a brand new talent of their own at the European Open
Hallbäck picks up second EHF Player of July/August, Kajdon claims her first
The crowning of the next generation of handball stars with the EHF Player of July/August award has now become a tradition and 2018 was no different in a summer packed with outstanding younger age category tournaments across Europe.
This year we have a brand new name on the world handball radar, Hungary’s Blanka Kajdon, and one who retains the award he won exactly one year ago – Ludvig Hallbäck of Sweden.
Hungary’s Blanka Kajdon was named the Most Valuable Player at the European Open 2018 in early July for her role in her side’s run to gold.
“The European Open was our first international competition and we put in a lot of preparation for it. It was really uplifting to be chosen as the MVP and Player of the Month,” says Kajdon.
2,200 spectators witnessed an exhilarating final at Gothenburg’s Scandinavium as Hungary beat France 31:30 after extra time to claim glory at the Under 16 tournament.
“The whole team performed brilliantly and we are working hard on achieving the same results next year.”
Exactly one year ago, Ludvig Hallbäck claimed the Player of July/August for his performances at the European Open and he has maintained his rise through the ranks with a stellar outing with Sweden at the Men’s 18 EHF EURO in Croatia.
Versatile back court player Hallbäck was the competition’s top scorer with 56 goals and this additional accolade was far from expected.
“Wow, what a big, but brilliant surprise,” admits Ysads IF’s rising star.
Hallbäck and right wing Valter Chrintz were Sweden’s outstanding players throughout the championship and they took over in crunch time of the final against Iceland – scoring 10 of 11 goals between them in a decisive period of the second half.
“That gold medal was a really big moment for us. The whole team had a great tournament and we worked really well together.
“It’s definitely the biggest thing I have experienced in my career so far.”
The victory generated plenty of attention for the team and continued success at international level is allowing Hallbäck to think about replicating this success at senior level one day.
“It is a think I have dreamt of since I was a kid. I will have to keep working hard and maybe someday I will,” concludes Hallbäck.
TEXT: Chris O'Reilly
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