Estelle Nze Minko – back player (FRA)
About the gold medals
” Before the World Championship we had an expectation of course, but if you ask me about gold, there is both yes and no. We want to get better and improve on every championship, we had a long tournament and it was a long way to this final. When I am thinking about the previous matches and how we get here step by step, I am still amazed how we did it.
About the match
“We managed to win because Norway could not run, we stopped their most important way to score, fast breaks. They did this since the beginning of the tournament, they are best at this, but we planned to be very good in defense and attack in a way to not give them easy balls, to not make mistakes. We had a stable and strong defense, but at the same time, we had to play an offensive defense as well, to not be very statical on the six-meter line as other teams did before us in this championship against them. We managed to stick with our plan and the result came.
About the rotation of the French team
“I felt we were fresher, had more energies in the last minutes as well. Our coach planned from the beginning to use every player and we were in a rotation where everybody could rest. In the last minutes, this was decisive.
Amandine Leynaud- goalkeeper (FRA)
“It was a difficult game, we played very focused. We planned to not let the opponent play their game, and not let them have a good start, this was one of the keys. We started very well this game, and we killed the Norwegian way of playing, so they have got nervous and then the game was ours.
“We prepared in a way to be ready for everything in this game because we analyzed Norway and we saw how they play, so we were prepared both mentally and physically to stop them to start well and to destroy their fastbreaks. This was the only good scenario for us in this match and I am very happy that we managed it.
“This is the second World Champion title for France (after 2003), the first one was fourteen years ago and back then I watched the game on television, I was a young handball player and I got this feeling that I want to be in the national team also. After all these years here I am with a gold medal, it is an amazing feeling.
“Individually I had a good tournament, but I don’t really care about individual titles at all because I love my team and I do everything for the team.
“Maybe nobody believed here that we will be able to stop Norway in this convincing manner, but we had our belief, and even if Norway was playing in front of thousands of fans we never gave up, the French mentality is strong and we play with our hearts. We can, of course, make mistakes sometimes, but when we are on a top-level like today so we can win anybody