Omeyer is the goalkeeper of France and German club THW Kiel, Riegelhuth plays on the right wing position for Norway and the Danish club FC Copenhague. For both of them it’s the first time to become World Handball Player of the year – an award that crowns their outstanding career. Both became Olympic champions in Beijing, where Omeyer additionally was nominated for the Allstar team as best goalkeeper. The Frenchmen fulfilled his title triple (European champion, World champion and Olympics champion) by winning the gold medal with France at the World Championship in January 2009 in Croatia, as France beat the host in the final and Omeyer again was awarded best goalkeeper of the tournament – in 2001 he was in the French team that had become World champion, but didn’t play such a big role like today. The gold medal at World championships is still missing in the “collection” of Riegelhuth, as she had become three times European champion (2004, 2006, 2008) and once silver medallist at World championships (2007). But it’s her dream to stand on top of the podium at the WCH in China in December.
All experts share the opinion that Omeyer is currently the best goalkeeper in the world and a highly decisive factor for the successes of his national and club team. It’s the third time in history after 2004 (Henning Fritz/Germany) and 2005 (Arpad Sterbik/Serbia and Montenegro) that a goalkeeper had been crowned as World Handball Player of the year – and it’s the fifth title for a French player. “My secret of success is hard training and psychology”, Omeyer said: “Goalkeeper’s work is mostly a matter of concentration and tactics. And I like the pressure of standing in the focus in highlighter matches.” On club level the Frenchmen, who’s nicknamed “Titi”, has won all titles, too: Twice he rose the Champions League Trophy with Montpellier (2003) and Kiel (2007), aside he became domestic champion and domestic cup winner in France and Germany each eight times in total. In Germany he was awarded best player of the season 2008/2009. In 220 international matches for France it became harder and harder to defeat Omeyer, who was born in Mulhouse. Aside his titles he won twice the Bronze medal at World championships (2003, 2005) and once at the European championship (2008).