Two weeks after her injury, Handball-Planet.com’s Women’s Player of 2017 Nora Mørk reflected on how she received the news of the award and the sad moment she’s going through, but how motivated she feels to return to the courts.
16 journalists from 13 different countries, and nearly 80,000 voters took part of the voting that has proclaimed Norwegian right back Nora Mørk as best player of 2017. The left handed had an impressive year in which she lifted her second EHF Champions League title, this time with her new club Győri Audi ETO KC, she was named best right back in the all-star team of that tournament, she won the Hungarian League, took silver in the IHF World Championship in Germany 2017 with her national team, and was top scorer and also part of the best 7 of the tournament.
Things were looking good on the courts for the Norwegian superstar, until two weeks ago she suffered a serious knee injury after having scored her 8th goal against Danish club Nykøbing Falster on the third match of the main round of the EHF Champions League. The worst scenario would be later confirmed by the spokesman of the club Szabó Támas: a torn ACL of her right knee that would rule her out of the courts for at least six months. Only two days later, she underwent surgery, to kick off the recovery. Handball-Planet.com had an unorthodox contact with the Norwegian right back, to find out about her feelings at the moment.
-How did you receive the news of the Handball-Planet.com award, especially in this tough moment you’re going through?
-I was actually alone in the hospital at the time. I had just had surgery. It was a really unexpected surprise. The contrast was of course big. It is truly a dream come true for me and a big goal for me as a handball player, but at the same time I’m really sad I won’t play for a long time.
-What does it mean for you to have received this award which is chosen by journalists and fans?
-It means everything to me. I am very honored that so many people elected me for this award. It also means that hard work and dedication really pays off!
-You’re also nominated for IHF World Player of the Year award, are you feeling anxious about that?
-I’m not anxious at all. Its not up to me and I’m just honored to be nominated among so many good players.
-Do you think you’ve become a more complete player since you’re arrival in Győr? How has the club help you improve?
-I feel after my transfer to ETO I have become a more complete player. I have to say I have improved a lot on defense. There are two reasons for that: one Ambros Martin and two the fact that I had to play a lot because we didn’t have so many players.
We may all agree with the fact that this version of Mørk is possibly the best one in the last few seasons. We’ve seen her shine for quite a while now, always being determining in both her clubs and national team, but this involvement in defense might have been the missing piece in her game. And she had already praised Martin’s work in this regards after having won the Tippmix EHF Final 4 title. “I had a different vision of what it was going to be like when I arrived (to Győr), but Ambros is such a good defense coach, he makes you push yourself, and he really taught me a lot this year. It’s been up and down for me, I haven’t been perfect in attack because I’ve been also playing defense, but it was great to finish this way”, she had said in that mixed zone at the Papp László Sportaréna in Budapest.
The injury comes in a moment when handball was ‘saving’ her from the nightmare she’s facing in her private life, but it is her strong spirit, without a doubt, the one that will bring her back to the handball courts, one of the places she loves the most.
-It’s been two weeks since your injury, and you already underwent surgery, how are you feeling now both physically and mentally?
-I feel sad of course and I think I’m still in shock…It all went very fast, the injury and the operation. Right now I just feel really sad I cannot help my team for the rest of the season, but I still feel very motivated for the future.
Handball fans worldwide have most certainly started a countdown to see her back in action as well.