The semifinals of Champions League will be played this weekend.
The four semifinalists are Oltchim Rm.Valca, Győri Audi ETO KC, Larvik HK and Krim Ljubljana.
TimeOutmagasine will present the four semifinalist teams, their way to the best four and discussing chances regarding the acces to the CL-final 2012/2012.
Larvik Arena, Larvik, 6/04-2013-15.15
The last team to present: Larvik HK, the Norwegian champion, CL-winner 2 years ago and the fourth year in a row CL semifinalist.
Larvik has started the season 2012/2013 with some new players, as playmaker Anja Edin from Storhamar, right winger Kristina Bille Hansen has arrived from Krim Ljubljana and the rookie, Kristine Breistøl from Bækkelagets Oslo. Beside these, Gro Hammerseng made her return to the handball court after giving birth to her son.
Injury problems was not an unknown peoblems in the last time in Larvik, for example Nora Mørk is out from the court in the second season, because of her multiple knee surgeries.
Tine Stange gave birth to a child and veteran Kari-Mette Johansen and Tine Rustad Kristiansen has both announced that they are pregnant.
Olga Medvedeva has suffered another knee injury, and she was out of the discussion for this season, after she needed an operation again.
In the groups Larvik HK met IK Savehof, FTC Rail-Cargo Hungaria and Dinamo Volgograd. The only challenge in this group was provided by FTC from Hungary, team which defeated Larvik HK in the opening match from Hungary, but Larvik managed to win every other matches at home and away court as well, finishing on the first place of the group. Anja Edin showed that she became an important brick in the team’s play, which was improving from game to game.
In the Main Round Larvik has to fight against last years runner up, Győri Audi ETO KC, Randers HK and last years CL-winner, Buducnost.
The team of Ole Gustad Gjekstad managed to defeat Buducnost in Moraca in a very close match, but Győr was too much forthe, the Hungarian team defeated them twice, with a substantial goal difference. Randers and Buducnost could not show really much at this stage, so Larvik got a semifinal pot, behind Győr.
It is already a fact that Pernille Wibe will leave the team at the end of the season, she transfers to Issy Paris, the new lineplayer will be Lise Löke from Storhamar. Sara Breistöl will stop her career at the end of the season , a young goalkeeper will arrive, Alma Hasanic from Glasseverket and Jeanett Kristiansen as a eft winger.
This week Larvik became Norwegian Champions for 15th time, they celebrated the gold medals on Wednesday, after winning Byasen by 27-21. The best player of the match was Gro Hammerseng.
Anja Edin, playmaker, Larvik HK
“I do not know that much about Krim at this point, but I have played against some of their players, and so have other players in our team, and what I do know is that they have many good players, and considering their impressive performance in the tournament this far, there is no doubt that it will be a tough match Saturday
We will need to stop their shooters, and in general our defence will have to function at its best – but as I said, I expect it to be tight anyhow.” – Edin told ehfcl.com.
Thea Mörk, having her 22th birthday on Friday, the day before the semifinal, said:
” We have to present a solid defense, and try to tun over the, then could become frustrated, which can influence their way to play. I mean that all the sides of our game must work on a high level, we must be very efficient in attack and very well organised in defense.”