“He was like Superman” – Germany’s Rune Dahmke and his incredible diving save

FEATURE: The left wing had a memorable, partly painful, but not victorious EHF EURO 2018 debut when he took the court against Denmark in Varazdin on Sunday

German court players seem to have a great talent for goalkeeping at the EHF EURO 2018: After right wing Patrick Groetzki was awarded “best save of the preliminary round” by www.ehf-euro.com users for his outstanding diving save against Montenegro, Rune Dahmke made one that was even more spectacular. “He was like Superman”, former German international Dominik Klein (expert for German TV ARD on site in Croatia) said about his former THW Kiel teammate.

Two minutes before the end of the main round Group II clash in Varazdin, the score stood at 25:23 in favour of Denmark – and then, with goalkeeper Andreas Wolff off the court and Germany's goal empty, Dahmke’s moment came. 

“I wanted to run to the bench to change with our goalkeeper, but I recognised that the Danes were just about to throw, so I started running to our goal and got the ball,” Dahmke told ehf-euro.com the morning after.

As the video became a viral hit in Germany and all over Europe, Dahmke received considerable positive feedback on his save, but: “If I could change this save to a win against Denmark, it would be much better. This action – and many more in the final stages – prove that we tried everything to take the points, but finally we failed.”

Was there no danger of an injury? “When I was diving I did not think about that. When I woke up this morning, my hip hurt, but it is ok,” said Dahmke.

Back after a series of setbacks

His whole EHF EURO 2018 story is incredible: The 24-year-old Kiel born player, who was EURO champion in 2016, was disappointed when he was not nominated for Germany’s squad for Croatia. It was the third setback for him after missing the 2016 Olympic Games, and after he was replaced early during the World Championship 2017.

On the day after Germany’s 22:19 win over Czech Republic in their main round opener, coach Christian Prokop announced that he was bringing in Dahmke to replace Maximilian Janke. “It is our goal to unburden Uwe Gensheimer, our only left wing, to score more counter-attack goals,” said the coach.

On Friday night, the coach informed Dahmke on the phone. On Saturday, he travelled to the team hotel in Sveti Martin, where he had his first training session in the evening. After Gensheimer played a weak opening stage in the match against Denmark, Dahmke got his chance, scoring four goals from five attempts – including Germany’s final goal for the result of 25:26.

Dahmke knows that Germany now need some help to make it to the semi-final: “As long as we have a chance, we will try everything,” said Dahmke.

On Monday morning, it was announced that his teammate Paul Drux would be out for the rest of the EHF EURO after he tore his meniscus in the first half of the game against Denmark. The left back is already on his way back to Berlin, where he will have knee surgery within this week, followed by a recovery period of approximately three months. Thus, Janke will return to Germany’s squad for the match against Spain.

written by Björn Pazen / cg