Handball coach Bengt Johansson
Photo: Jens Wolf / dpa
The handball world mourns Bengt Johansson.
The legendary Swedish coach has passed away at the age of 79 after a long illness.
This was announced by the Swedish Handball Association on Monday.
Johansson was "one of the greatest leaders in Swedish handball of all time and his influence on Swedish handball both in Sweden and internationally cannot be praised enough," the federation wrote on its website.
As a player, Johansson has won four Swedish league titles and has 83 caps.
However, he celebrated his greatest successes as a coach.
After five championships with HK Drott, he led the national team to two world championship titles, four European Championship triumphs and three Olympic silver medals between 1988 and 2004.
The Swedish team under Johansson was known far beyond the country's borders as the "Bengan Boys", loosely based on Johansson's nickname "Bengan".
The DHB is also affected
"The Bengan Boys were one of the great success stories of handball," said President Andreas Michelmann of the German Handball Federation (DHB): "From a German perspective, the final of the 2002 European Championship, which was only lost in extra time, is unforgettable." Johansson has Swedish and international handball " shaped over generations«.
"Bengt Johansson will always be a prominent part of Swedish handball history and is at the heart of Swedish handball," said the Swedish association in recognition of Johansson's achievements.