Captain Domagoj Duvnjak and the outgoing goalkeeper Niklas Landin waved the silver championship trophy in the confetti rain after the final walk to the title, then followed in the dressing room with a beer shower for trainer Filip Jicha, the boozy start to a long night of partying. With an easy 34:27 victory at Frisch Auf Göppingen, THW Kiel was crowned German handball champion for the 23rd time on Sunday.

“I’m incredibly proud of the boys, the energy with which they put up with the setbacks this season,” said Jicha after the North Germans’ renewed championship coup. And line runner Patrick Wiencek rejoiced: “The joy and relief are very great. Now we are looking forward to a cold beer and the party in Kiel.”

After the final whistle, the Kielers put on a first master dance on the floor, while Jicha hugged each of his protégés. Thanks to the success on matchday 34, the record champion with 59:9 points relegated the dethroned defending champion SC Magdeburg (57:11), who won 35:30 at HSG Wetzlar, to second place. “We are overjoyed. This championship trophy is deserved because we had a very strong season,” said Duvnjak. “This title means a lot for the club. We’re going to enjoy this now.”

While the people of Kiel are going on their well-deserved vacation, the club world champion from Magdeburg has another chance to win the title in the Champions League final 4 next weekend. “Everything is possible there. The belief that it could work for us is there,” said SCM trainer Bennet Wiegert after the win in Wetzlar. Kiel and Magdeburg will also represent the Bundesliga in the premier class next season.

Third, fourth and fifth place went to Füchse Berlin, SG Flensburg-Handewitt and cup winner Rhein-Neckar Löwen, who only had to give up in the final phase of what had long been the most exciting title fight in Bundesliga history. In addition to this trio, TSV Hannover-Burgdorf will also start in the European League in the coming season. The team of ex-national coach Christian Prokop secured the last starting place with a 34:31 at TVB Stuttgart. GWD Minden and ASV Hamm have already been relegated. The promoted HBW Balingen-Weilstetten and ThSV Eisenach take their places.

To say goodbye to world stars Niklas Landin and Sander Sagosen, the people of Kiel put on a sovereign performance in Göppingen. “I am sad that such great team members are leaving us. But I’m also extremely proud that I was able to experience the years with them,” said THW trainer Jicha.

While Denmark’s world champion goalkeeper Landin only played in the last 90 seconds due to a calf injury, backcourt ace Sagosen was in top form again. The Norwegian, who is moving back home to Kolding IL after three years on the fjord, contributed seven goals to the success as the best thrower. “I’m proud of this squad. It’s an incredibly beautiful moment,” said Sagosen.

For Landin, who will be between the posts at Aalborg HB in the future, THW has already brought in the French national goalkeeper Vincent Gerard. In addition, the Kielers are flirting with a commitment of the Spanish national goalkeeper Gonzalo Perez de Vargas from FC Barcelona. THW Managing Director Viktor Szilagyi confirmed talks with the 32-year-old for the first time on Sunday. “Gonzalo is an issue for us, we are in contact,” said Szilagyi on the pay TV channel Sky and added: “There is always a certain optimism when you make contact.”