The quality of the fight for the title even impressed one of the protagonists: Viktor Szilagyi, who used to be a clever game designer himself and has been managing director of THW Kiel for four years. “For months we had a pentathlon for the championship, I think that has never happened before,” he told WELT before the decision in the Handball Bundesliga. “A championship is the most honest title, the most consistent because you see the best reflection of the league over 34 matchdays. We started the season with a title, winning the Supercup. And it would be nice to end the season with a title on Sunday as well.”

The wish came true at 4.54 p.m. on Sunday in the away game in Göppingen. With the 34:27 victory, THW Kiel maintained its two-point lead over last year’s title holder SC Magdeburg and was crowned champion for the 23rd time.

For Niklas Landin, Sander Sagosen and Miha Zarabec it was the perfect end, they will no longer be part of the well-known ensemble of the North Germans from the coming season and will change clubs. The fact that they were able to celebrate was due to a terrific and consistent second half of the season with a score of 31:3 points and the fact that main competitor Magdeburg, Magnus Saugstrup and Omar Ingi Magnusson, lost two exceptional talents on the home stretch of the season with a torn ligament in the knee and a heel operation .

For the variety and entertainment in the league, however, winning the title from Kiel was the continuation of a trend. Where the boredom in the top battle can hardly be surpassed in football’s big brother and the champion is even called Bayern Munich when everyone tears each other apart there, the title holders in handball have shown an attractiveness for years in the form of different first place winners. In the period since Dortmund, not Bayern, triumphed in the kickers (2012), there were four different champions in handball: the Rhein-Neckar Löwen, SG Flensburg-Handewitt, SC Magdeburg and of course the German industry leader THW Kiel .

However, the new master also has a small flaw. Because in the regular seven, foreign world-class players appear first, which is why national coach Alfred Gislason only benefits to a limited extent from Kiel’s successes.

At this year’s World Cup in January in Poland and Sweden, only the THW substitute on the left wing, Rune Dahmke, was among the best German ball throwers. Club colleague Patrick “Bam-Bam” Wiencek had previously ended his international career in the association, while teammate Hendrik Pekeler has been sidelined with the national team for two years due to persistent problems with his Achilles tendon and fear of overloading. They urgently need the world-class player Pekeler there in order to succeed at the home European Championship in seven months.

The other champions of the past decade have so far more to offer: Johannes Golla, the captain of the national team, comes from Flensburg, Juri Knorr, a talent of the century in the playmaker position, comes from Mannheim from the Löwen, and Lukas, the two important regular players in Gislason’s selection, comes from SC Magdeburg Mertens and Philipp Weber.

It is said that there should be a talk between the national coach and Pekeler about a comeback before the next course in September. It would be an important signal. For THW Kiel – and also for German handball.