After 24 years as a couple, Danish top handball referees Mads Hansen and Martin Gjeding have decided that they no longer have to judge together. The pair have judged a string of international matches and finals, but now is the time to seek new challenges.
“Both Martin and I still want to be part of the absolute top referees in the world. The group of referees we find difficult to belong to if we do not develop. That is why I have had to withdraw from the collaboration with Martin. We have always had an agreement that we would stop as a couple if we didn’t consider the big matches, and that is the deal that leads me to want to try something new. It has been a difficult decision for me. I don’t know what the continuation of my judging career looks like, but I still have great ambitions that hopefully can be brought to life in a new collaboration, ”says Mads Hansen and continues:
“All my free time for more than half of my life has been dedicated to my friendship with Martin. We have traveled together in almost 50 countries, we have experienced handball’s greatest championships – and we are even the only Danish refereeing couple to have judged both the European and World Cup finals for women and men. We have built a unique friendship, and Martin was one of the ones who supported me most during my cancer course. On the other side of my illness we achieved some of the greatest results together, which I owe Martin a big thank you for, ”says Mads Hansen.
Mads Hansen’s decision to stop as a couple is respected by Martin Gjeding, who also does not feel ready as a top referee:
“I fully respect Mads’ decision. It has always been part of the agreement that if we did not develop as a judging couple and did not consider the fun matches, then we should look for other options. We have had some amazing experiences together around the world where we have experienced most of it. It’s almost just an Olympic final that we haven’t tried. We have complemented each other and our differences have undoubtedly been a strength for us as a couple, ”says Martin Gjeding and continues:
“Like Mads, I hope that I can become part of another constellation where I can build something new again. Looking back, I am incredibly proud of our many finals together. On the other hand, I certainly do not feel ready as a referee, and I am sure that I can still develop and prove that I am among the best handball judges in the world, ”says Martin Gjeding.
Mads Hansen and Martin Gjeding’s international finals:
2017: World Cup finals (men)
2016: IHF Super Globe finals
2016: European finals (men)
2015: Pan American Games finals
2014: Champions League finals (men)
2012: Champions League Finals (Ladies)
2011: Pan Am Championship Finals
2010: European Championships (Ladies)
2009: World Cup Finals (Ladies)
2006: European Championships (Men’s Youth Championship)
2004: European Championships (Men’s Youth Championships)
2008 : Final of the Cup Winners Cup