My very first posting in 2010 was an interview with 'Abbe', 'Mr. Partille Cup'. http://teamhandballnews.com/news.php?item.913 In that interview we covered several aspects: the way the build-up of a fantastic youth program was paralleled by the annual organizing of the globally best-known youth tournament (Partille Cup), and the fact that the strong focus on youth handball and international outreach is combined with the ability to field top mens' and women's teams at the elite level.
Yesterday, IK Savehof, the club from the small suburb of Goteborg, became the first club in the history of Swedish handball to win the [u]championship for both men and women in the same year[/u]. Savehof won the men's championship for the third time, while it was the sixth set of gold medals for the women's team since 1993.
There are a few other clubs both in Sweden and Denmark that have top teams on both the men's and the women's side. But looking around Europe it is really an exception that the same club is at the very top of both categories. In the EHF competitions for 2009-10 there were virtually no 'dual' participants, with FCK from Denmark being the main exception with its participation in the group play in the Champions League for both men and women.
Savehof was the favorite in the men's final, after having won the league and then 8 of 9 matches in the play-offs, while Drott Halmstad, a traditional top team, had only placed 5th in the league but then came on strong in the play-offs. The game was tied 10-10 at half-time, but then Drott seemed to pull away comfortable and had a 4-goal lead close to the end. But Savehof managed to equalize (23-23) and then was the stronger team in overtime and won 30-28.
On the women's side, Skovde and Savehof had been superior in the league, with Skovde as the winner and Savehof as the runner-up. But then in semi-finals they both had to struggle, each winning 3 games against 2. In the final Skovde was probably the favorite, but it turned out to be Savehof's day, after strong performances from some of the key players. The final result was 27-23 (15-10).
Undoubtedly, the many friends of Savehof and Partille Cup worldwide join me in congratulating Savehof, 'Abbe' and all his colleagues on this special occasion! At a personal level, I want to convey my special greetings to Savehof's 'grand old man' and founder, Gunnar Qvist.