Sweden have two medals from Women's EHF EURO events to date: a silver won in 2010 and a bronze won in 2014, and chances as well as hopes are there that the Women's EHF EURO 2016 on home ground is the opportunity to complete the set and win gold.
Sweden are led by the inspirational Isabelle Gulldén, the MVP of the Women's EHF EURO 2014. The back court ace plays for CSM Bucuresti in Romania. In the 2015/16 season she not only won the Women's EHF Champions League but also became the competition's top scorer with 108. From the bench the team will be guided by Henrik Signell who took over as head coach in May 2016.
At the two most recent major tournaments, Sweden played reasonably successful preliminary rounds, but faltered twice when it came to the first knockout match. At the World Championship 2015 they had placed second in their group but lost the Last 16 match to Denmark 26:19; at the 2016 Olympic Games they came third in their group but had no chance in the quarter-final against Norway, losing 33:20.
Isabelle Gulldén made her debut in the Swedish women's national team at the age of 18, just before the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. At the Rio 2016 Games, just a few months ago, she already played her third Olympic tournament.
The top class playmaker had an early breakthrough at IK Sävehof, the team she first played for. In 2008 Gulldén was voted "Rookie of the Year" in Swedish handball. This award was followed by annual nominations to the domestic league's All-star Team until she left Sweden in 2011 to continue her professional career at Viborg HK in Denmark. With Viborg she won the Danish cup twice, the national championship in 2014 and in the same year also the Cup Winners' Cup.
Ahead of the 2015/16 season she signed a contract with CSM Bucuresti in Romania. A mere year later, Gulldén won the Women's EHF Champions League, scored a record 15 goals in the final and also gained the competition's top scorer crown with 108 goals overall.
"Bella" Gulldén has been named Sweden's "Handball Player of the Year" for the 2011/2012 and the 2013/14 seasons. With the national team she won silver at the EHF EURO 2010 and bronze at the EHF EURO 2014. At the 2014 event she was furthermore named the tournament's MVP.
Nathalie Hagman became the youngest Swede to play for the women's national team when she made her debut in 2009 at the age of 17.
The 25-year-old can play as right back and right wing and has been one of the key players in the national team for the past two years. In 2016 she became the first to be chosen "Player of the Year" both in Denmark, where she has just joined Nykøbing Falster Håndboldklub after having played for Team Tvis Holstebro for two seasons, and in Sweden.
Despite her team's quarter-final exit at the Rio 2016 Games, she was named the women's handball tournament's All-star right wing. In her last season at Holstebro Hagman also won the Cup Winners' Cup.
Hagman was part of the Swedish teams that won silver at the EHF EURO 2010 and bronze at the EHF EURO 2014. As of September 2016 she has played 95 internationals for Sweden, scoring 249 times.
After he had been in charge for 11 years of the successful women’s team IK Sävehof, Henrik Signell took on a new challenge when he signed a two-year-contract as Sweden’s women’s national team coach in May 2016.
Signell filled the void that was left when the federation had parted ways with Thomas Sivertsson in January this year. Dane Helle Thomsen, who had formed a coaching duo with Sivertsson when Sweden won the bronze medal at the EHF EURO 2014, was brought in as temporary coach for the Olympic qualifiers in March, but after the team qualified for Rio, she went back to her job as coach of Danish side FC Midtjylland.
Henrik Signell will be in charge until the summer of 2018 at least. At the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, his first major tournament courtside with the national team, he steered Sweden to the quarter-finals.
Past Performance at EHF EURO Events
|2008||FYR Macedonia||9th place|