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Date: 12/23/2010

Do you believe that the World Championship in Sweden will be a real highlight for international handball?
Kurt Klühspies: At the World Championship 1993 – when I attended the games as representative of adidas – I was persuaded by the enthusiasm of the Swedish people. The arenas were full, the spectators enthusiastic, but also well-informed about handball. I believe it will be the same in 2011. I’m sure that we will have a big handball party.

What do you expect from Sweden in terms of sports and organization?
Kurt Klühspies: I’m convinced that we will see a perfect World Championship from the organizational point of view. The match schedule contains a good plan for the venues and cities. Apart from the Swedish fans, German and Danish fans will guarantee a perfect atmosphere. In terms of sports Sweden has improved, they left the bad days behind. The home advantage could really promote them. I’m capable of saying that the Swedish team can make a handball fairy tale come true, as Germany in 2007.

What are your expectations concerning the performance of your team in Sweden?
Kurt Klühspies: I have a really big faith in our national coach Heiner Brand and his players. If no severe injuries occur, we can reach the semi-finals.

Which teams do you rate main contenders for the World Championship title?
Kurt Klühspies: A lot of teams can win the title, as the top teams are very close. The current form of the teams will be the key factor. Of course France, Croatia, Poland and Germany belong to the favoured teams, but Sweden can become the surprise team, and you have to be aware of Iceland and Denmark. It would be good for international handball, if the World Championship would not only be a matter of European teams. I would appreciate if a team like Egypt for example would play a good role in Sweden.

Which players might become the big stars in Sweden?
Kurt Klühspies: Experienced players like the Czech Filip Jicha or the French players Nikola Karabatic or Thierry Omeyer. In addition some younger players can reach the spotlight: Maybe the Germans Uwe Gensheimer or Silvio Heinevetter, the Swede Per Carlén, the Icelander Aron Palmarsson or the Croat Domagoj Duvnjak.