26/01/2014

Duvnjak and Lekic named 2013 World Handball Player

PRESS RELEASE: Croatian and Serbian centre backs receive award by the International Handball Federation

Photo: Stephane Pillaud

More than 35,000 handball fans from all over the world cast their votes – and the winners are: Andrea Lekic and Domagoj Duvnjak!

The Serbian and the Croat have been named World Handball Players of the Year 2013 by the International Handball Federation.

The awarding ceremony took place just ahead of the final of the Men's EHF EURO 2014 between France and Denmark (41:32).

Just minutes before Duvnjak, who received the honour still being in his jersey, had missed the EHF EURO bronze after a 28:29 defeat against Spain but was consoled by also being named All-star centre back of the EHF EURO.

For both Lekic and Duvnjak this is their first World Handball Player award in their career.

They are succeeding Alexandra Nascimento (BRA) and Daniel Narcisse (FRA) who had been awarded in 2012.

After Ivano Balic (awarded in 2003 and in 2006), Duvnjak (playing for German side HSV Hamburg) is the second Croat to win this award.

Lekic, who plays for Macedonian champions Vardar Skopje, is the first Serbian women to receive the award.

Lekic and Duvnjak received exactly 33 per cent each of all votes.

Second ranked in the women's voting was Hungarian Anita Görbicz (27%), ahead of their Györ club teammates Katrine Lunde (Norway/20%), Katarina Bulatovic (Montenegro/13%) and 2011 World Handball Player of the Year, Heidi Löke (Norway/7%).

Duvnjak topped the ranking ahead of Danish Mikkel Hansen (2011 World Handball Player of the Year/27%), Spaniard Arpad Sterbik (2005 World Handball Player of the Year/20%), Czech Filip Jicha (2010 World Handball Player of the Year/13%) and Frenchmen Daniel Narcisse (2012 World Handball Player of the Year/7%). 

Lekic was the key player of the Serbian team when it won silver on home court at the World Championship 2013. She also won the EHF Champions League trophy with her former club Audi ETO Györ (Hungary). 

25-year-old Duvnjak also won the EHF Champions League in 2013 with Hamburg and was named into the All-star team and bronze medallist at the World Championship 2013 in Spain with Croatia.

written by International Handball Federation / ts