Tuesday, January 18

World Cup debut after corona complications: – I struggled quite a lot

CASTELLÓN (VG) A year ago she had inflammation of the pericardium after a tough round of corona disease. On Friday, Maren Aardahl (27) will make her World Cup debut together with Emilie Hovden (25) in Spain.

HIGH AND LOW: Maren Aardahl (right) and Emilie Hovden make their World Cup debut for Norway on Friday.

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Austria’s World Cup squad experiences corona chaos in the World Cup opening. Four players have tested positive and must be in isolation for 10 days. With the omikron variant in circulation, Aardahl admits that she is afraid of a new round of corona in the World Cup.

– I have respect for that. I know how I felt last time, she says to VG before the World Cup opening against Kazakhstan on Friday. The entire Norwegian squad has been tested every single morning since they were gathered last Monday.

The string player from Trondheim experienced a small nightmare in the Romanian Valcea in the autumn of 2020. She had two positive corona tests in October and November and got the police on the door daily to check that she complied with the requirement for insulation at home in the apartment.

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– I struggled quite a lot. I had inflammation of the pericardium. But I’m very happy now, she emphasizes in the sunny World Cup city a few miles north of Valencia on the Mediterranean coast. It was darker on the south side of the Transylvania Alps a year ago.

The club believed she was ready for play again even though she had no negative coronatest.

– The first week after I got out of quarantine was disgusting. I had no choice. Here in Romania, they say you can not infect anyone after two weeks. After I was checked with an ECG and a blood test, I was cleared for training, the club thought. It has gone well, but has been difficult, told Aardahl to VG on November 21 last year.

But her body did not work as Aardahl wanted even though she was cleared for play.

Tough round: Maren Aardahl had a demanding time with corona disease a year ago.

– I felt that something was wrong when I ran intervals that something was wrong, she says.

She came home to Norway and Aardahl got an appointment with the GP at home in Trondheim.

– They took an ECG and it showed some discrepancies, she says. It turned out that she had pericarditis. according to Norwegian Health Informatics Inflammation of the pericardium is a common side effect of viral diseases.

– Luckily I got good follow-up when I returned to the club in Romania. It was taken very seriously then, she explains. Maren Aardahl returned to the field for Valcea in January and has not known anything about corona disease since.

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– I was one of the first to receive corona during that period. The club thought it would go well, but saw that more and more people got repercussions from it, she says.

Maren Aardahl made her debut for the national team against Slovenia in October then a total of 10 Norwegian players and managers – plus the handball president – got corona.

Now the Trøndelag man is finally experiencing his big goal: Championship for Norway.

– It is very fun and exciting. This is something I have been working towards for a long time, she says. Aardahl grew up in Byåsen and has a cohabitant at home in Trondheim. But two years ago, she made a tough choice. She went to German Bietigheim before Valcea became her club in 2020. Now she plays for the Danish top club Odense.

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– I wanted tougher resistance, but it was also about motivation. The road into the national team is so long and I needed to be challenged in other ways. I got to experience new cultures, new language and got to play in the Champions League. There was a lot of personal development in it.

National team manager Thorir Hergeirsson confirms that he will not have three goalkeepers on the team line-up in the World Cup opening. This will be the World Cup debut for both Aardahl and Storhamar’s scoring machine on the right wing, Emilie Hovden.

– It’s very big. It has been incredibly cool to make my debut in the Intersport cup with family and friends in the stands, says the Bergen native who has marked himself with eight goals in his first three matches for Norway.


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