Juri Knorr: Germany's handball hope for the World Cup once made headlines because of corona vaccination
Created: 01/13/2023 11:02 am
By: Hannes Niemeyer
Juri Knorr has the potential to become one of the shooting stars of the 2023 Handball World Cup.
He missed the last big tournament - and made headlines because of the corona vaccination.
Katowice – On Friday, January 13th, the German national team will start the Handball World Championship in Poland and Sweden.
The focus is particularly on Juri Knorr.
If Alfred Gislason sends his first seven in the group game against Qatar (the schedule for the handball world championship in the overview), the playmaker of the Rhein-Neckar Löwen should be there.
The only 22-year-old is considered one of the greatest talents in world handball and the hope of the German team par excellence.
Why didn't he already play big at the EM 2022?
Because he wasn't allowed - and thus wrote powerful headlines, as reported by tz.de.
Handball is in the cradle of the North German.
He was born in Flensburg, one of the strongholds of the sport in Germany.
And his father is an absolute legend in the sport.
Thomas Knorr played over 500 games in the Bundesliga, including for THW Kiel and SG Flensburg-Handewitt, was German champion four times and won the DHB Cup twice.
He made 83 appearances for the German national team.
A value that his son Juri should crack if his career continues as before.
Juri Knorr at the Handball World Championship 2023: He missed the last European Championship – and made the headlines
On November 5, 2020, Juri Knorr celebrated his DHB team debut at the age of 20.
In January 2021, Knorr traveled to the World Cup in Egypt and later in the year even went to the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
And many have already put a lot of faith in him for the EM 2022. But Knorr missed it - because he wasn't allowed to play.
As is well known, the European Championship 2022 took place in the middle of a corona wave.
During the tournament, a number of players – including those from the DHB team – dropped out because of positive tests.
Fearing that the pandemic could endanger the entire tournament, the world association IHF decided in advance to hold the European Championship under 2G+ conditions - and thus without Juri Knorr, who was not vaccinated at the time.
Juri Knorr is considered the hope of the German national handball team at the 2023 World Cup. © IMAGO/Tilo Wiedensoler
Handball World Cup: Juri Knorr missed a major tournament due to vaccination status – "It was tough"
His refusal to be vaccinated made headlines in the handball world.
Knorr did not do well in the media or on social networks.
Comparisons were drawn with Joshua Kimmich, who had also not been vaccinated for a long time.
It "didn't leave him untouched," he said, and also added at the end of the year: "It was tough."
Knorr himself had already been infected with the virus in November 2020 and was struggling with a more severe course at the time.
After his recovery, he regularly had his antibodies and specific T-cells checked in order to deduce his natural immunity in consultation with doctors.
Also because of his experiences with severe corona symptoms, he emphasized that he was certainly not a corona denier.
Even today, he says he fully supports his decision.
In terms of sport, Knorr has recently forgotten the debate.
He has had a strong season with the Rhein-Neckar-Löwen.
DHB coach Alfred Gislason trusts him, even if he still makes "a lot of technical mistakes, incredibly expensive mistakes".
Words that Gislason chose after a mixed performance by Knorr in the penultimate test before the World Cup against Iceland - the DHB team lost 30:31.
Just one day later, in the second test against Iceland, Knorr then scored 13 times in an absolute gala performance, leading the Germans to a 33:31 victory.
Juri Knorr now vaccinated against Corona?
For WM he has to fulfill conditions
Knorr can now play the upcoming World Cup, from which ARD and ZDF will broadcast the German games.
And that despite the fact that there are strict Corona regulations this year as well.
All “persons directly involved in the game” must be vaccinated or recovered and prove this in advance.
Likewise, all players must provide evidence of a negative PCR test three days prior to arrival at the venue.
Anyone who is positive is isolated and can only take part in the game again after five days and a negative PCR test at the earliest.
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Fancy a voyage of discovery?
Conditions that have been criticized by professional handball players and raise the question: So has Juri Knorr been vaccinated in the meantime?
In the "Löwen-Funk", the podcast of his club, the Rhein-Neckar Löwen, he stated in the episode of December 23, 2022: "It's still something private".
He continues to keep a low profile on the vaccination status, only reports: “If I should be there, then everyone will probably realize that I had to do what was necessary.
Then everyone can make up their own mind about it."
Incidentally, Rune Dahmke, who is in a relationship with a three-time world handball player, will also be present at the World Cup.
Also appearing, but in the Danish team, will be superstar Mikkel Hansen, who has a special history of getting to know his wife.