BUDAPEST (VG) Here, strong feelings are aroused in Erik Toft (29) as after the goals in the European Championships. Norway’s new top scorer loves fly fishing and outdoor life. Mom and NRK’s nature profile, Kari Toft, like it.
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The handball boys are hit by corona after the Sweden loss. Torbjørn Bergerud and Magnus Gullerud are out of Norway’s last European Championship match against Iceland on Friday, but Toft is also from Hungary. Like several others in the European Championship squad, he has been through the disease before the championship.
Erik Toft made his debut for Elverum already as a 16-year-old. He has been investing heavily in handball for over 10 years before the international breakthrough has come in the last two weeks in Slovakia.
– I am quite moved, says Kari Toft to VG.
– Everyone at this level puts in a lot of work. But he has been so close. Erik made his debut on Elverum’s A-team early, but then there has been a lot of waiting. He has been to national team gatherings, but then he has had a bit of a stick out, says NRK Natur’s host.
The hard-shooting hill has been successful with 20 European Championship goals. The “bomber” also hit Sweden, but failed to prevent a Swedish victory in the last main round match after Glenn Solberg’s team had only been in the lead for 43 seconds of the 60-minute European Championship drama.
On Friday, Norway will play for fifth place when they meet Iceland at 15.30. Victory gives direct place to next year’s WC. It is broadcast on TV 3.
– Before the European Championships, I thought it would have been great if he had been allowed to play a little. But when he gets so much trust and makes it happen, it is beyond all expectations. It is both a joy and a relief, describes the famous journalist mother.
In the European Championships, Erik Toft has hammered in goals from long range. Barrier shots have not put the debutant out.
– It is very nice to see that he has gained such good self-confidence. He has had a lot of playing time in Denmark and has been an important player for his team. Now he is also captain of Mors-Thy. He does not give up if things go a little wrong. He knows he can. Now he gets to try for longer periods and then it’s nice when it slams, mum Toft smiles
Bergerud and Gullerud out of the European Championships: – Fear more infection
– I think I have built up over time. In Denmark, I have a big role in the team and know that I have to contribute through the match. There is no point in starting with two booms and opting out. I have learned that, says Erik Toft to VG.
He grew up close to handball historical grounds in Elverum. His father Ragnar Thorsteinsen has always played in bands, built guitars and is with his mother better known for music than sports at home.
– He became a handball player against all odds and I do not know how much honor we as parents should take for the interest in nature. But it is clear that when kids are exposed to nature and the joy of hiking, it leaves some traces in them. They may not have been so excited for a few years, but then it comes back. Erik has taken it out in fly fishing, says his mother.
Because when Erik Toft is really going to relax, he takes out the fishing rod. Preferably with old friends. The national team’s Petter Øverby is one of them.
– A mixture of relaxing, but still having the adrenaline rush that I get from the boy group I fish with, he explains – grew up just a few meters from Glomma. Last summer, Toft caught fine trout in Finnmark, but the largest were allowed to live on after meeting the dry fly.
– We release the most beautiful specimens again. Then it happens that we take a fried fish, he describes himself.
– Everyone has experienced that you get to clear your head when you are out. I’m not a fly fisherman, but I think it must be incredibly good mentally to stand by the water and be concentrated on hitting exactly with the cast, says the mother and adds.
Berge after lost second drama: – The worst I have experienced
– I think it is very important for him to be out. Handball is very much about being inside halls and changing rooms with more or less good air. In Denmark, he fixes sea trout and has caught several fine salmon on the hook in Storå – the Danes’ second longest river that flows through Holstebro. Erik Toft lives there with his girlfriend Thea Hoås Norman and one-year-old Jens.
– It’s clear I miss him. I do not know how much he misses me. But I hope he does at least. We keep in touch with FaceTime and photos. It helps, but I look forward to meeting him again, says Erik Toft.
He will soon have his wish fulfilled.