Tragic death during final: Coach wanted to end the game
The SC Magdeburg won the finals of the Champions League, but it nearly didn't take place. Due to a medical emergency involving a journalist in the press seats, the game was interrupted. Magdeburg's coach, Bennet Wiegert, suggested that the match be ended and Kielce declared the winners.
After SC Magdeburg won the tight game, including an overtime period, against the Polish club Industria Kielce with 30: 29, Wiegert showed his compassion for the tragedy. Twelve minutes before the end of the regular playing time, a Polish journalist suddenly collapsed on the press stands and died later at the hospital. "We have seen how close happiness and grief are together," Wiegert said.
Magdeburg trailed at the time of the interruption, but Wiegert was focused on the larger picture. He demonstrated his humanity and emphasised that there is more to life than sports. During the break of play, Wiegert approached Talant Dujshebaev, his opposite number, and offered to end the game: "Let's end the game. We take the result, and you are the Champions League winners, because there are more important things in life," he said.
The match carried on, however, and Magdeburg triumphed over Kielce. Despite the tragic circumstances, the win was a reason to celebrate for the Magdeburgers.
The team will enjoy a great welcome in Magdeburg, where a celebration is planned. "I am very humble about everything that is happening right now. And it's a pity. My sorrow, condolences go out to the deceased journalist from Kielce. I'm extremely sorry. I cannot say more about it," said Wiegert.
Wiegert praised the team for their performance, characterising them as fantastic. The Bundestrainer, Alfred Gislason, who led the team to their first victory in the Champions League 21 years ago, said that Magdeburg was the "most efficient team in the world" and deserved winners of the title.
Gislason's comments were fitting given the resilience of Magdeburg, exemplified by the determination of Kristjansson, who scored six goals in the final despite dislocating his shoulder the day before. "When it happened, I thought I wouldn't play handball again until January. But the will within me was so strong. I just wanted to be there and help the team, no matter how long," said Kristjansson.
Kristjansson's outstanding performance was an emotional moment for Wiegert, as the Icelandic national is now likely to be absent from the game for an extended period. "I am so happy for him because I know what an exhausting time is ahead of him," said the successful Magdeburger coach.