From beach gold to indoor world championship
In April 2021 she made her debut in the German women's indoor national team. In June she was gold medalist and awarded best goalkeeper at the EHF Beach Handball EURO in Bulgaria. Now, Katharina Filter is playing at her first major indoor tournament with the German team at the world championship in Spain.
The 22-year-old is on the rise this year - being an expert in both kinds of handball. In this interview with eurohandball.com, Filter, who plays for Buxtehuder SV at club level, talks about the differences and advantages of beach and indoor handball.
You became EHF EURO champion in beach handball this summer and now you are in the squad for the indoor world championship - what do you enjoy more, playing on sand or on floor?
Katharina Filter: That is a difficult question, but one that I have often been asked. It's both fun, each in its own way. Beach handball is of course something completely different, it's at the beach, in the sun, a different mentality, but it brings me a lot.
Does it mean to have a useful time for those months without indoor handball?
Katharina Filter: On the one hand yes, because after all I have to stay fit when I am not training. But I also have fun with it and can also take a few things with me for indoor handball, for example handball in the sand is great to increase your power to jump in the arena, but of course there are also completely different processes. I think I definitely benefit from both variants.
If someone had told you at the start of 2021 what would happen, what would have been your answer?
Katharina Filter: I would have gladly taken that. Of course, 2021 was an incredible year for me, it connected so much that I could only have dreamed of before. In addition, I became the new captain in Buxtehude, which for me is a really great confidence from the coach and the team, and I was voted player of the season at BSV, everything is kind of unbelievable.
How did you get to know about your nomination for the World Championship?
Katharina Filter: Before training, I met Debbie Kljin, who is not only my goalkeeping coach in the national team, but also at Buxtehude. And she told it to me. I had hoped for it so much, but of course I couldn't be sure that I would be part of the team for Spain, so the joy was even greater.
You made your debut in the women's national team in April, how do you rate your development since then - after all, you conceded only two goals in 30 minutes in the EHF EURO 2022 qualification against Greece?
Katharina Filter: The process of development really went well, I think I presented myself in a good way.
You and Dinah Eckerle from Danish DELO EHF Champions League participant Team Esbjerg are the German duo between the posts in Spain - how is your relationship to her and what can you learn?
Katharina Filter: We get on very well with each other, of course she has been with the national team for much longer and has a completely different experience, so I will still be able to learn a lot from her. I'm looking forward to it.
Do you actually have a role model?
Katharina Filter: Not really. As a Hamburg native, Johannes Bitter used to be something of a role model, but of course today I take a look at the goalkeepers from the EHF Champions League, but there is no real role model.
How important was it for your start in the national team that you already knew Debbie Kljin?
Katharina Filter: It was and is very important, I've been training with her for five years. If you know someone, it makes a start in a new environment always easier. Debbie's opinion is very important to me, she gives me a lot of advice.
And what was her special advice for the world championship in Spain?
Katharina Filter: Stay calm, do your thing, don't drive yourself crazy.