Katja Nyberg
Katja Nyberg2.jpg
Full name Katja Johanna Alice Nyberg
Date of birth 24 August 1979 (1979-08-24) (age 41)
Place of birth Stockholm, Sweden
Nationality Norwegian
Height 1.83 m[1]
Playing position Left back
Club information
Current club FC Midtjylland Håndbold
Number 15
Club history
Until 1997
Sparta IF
Larvik HK
Krim Ljubljana
FC Midtjylland
Larvik HK
National team
Since 2001 99 (321)
Infobox last updated on 31 December 2008.
Medal record
Olympic Games
Gold 2008 Beijing
World Championship
Silver 2007 France
European Championship
Silver 2002 Denmark
Gold 2004 Hungary
Gold 2006 Sweden

Katja Johanna Alice Nyberg (born 24 August 1979 in Stockholm, Sweden and grew up in Finland[2]), is a naturalized Norwegian player, currently playing for Danish club FC Midtjylland as well as the Norwegian national team.


Early years

Katja Nyberg is the daughter of Robert Nyberg, the first Finnish handball player to play professionally abroad.[3] She was born in Stockholm while Robert was living in Sweden. The family later relocated to Finland where she grew up. Nyberg played sports from an early age, mainly javelin throw and other athletics varieties. She started her handball career in Helsinki club Sparta IF with her father as coach.

Club career

Nyberg played for Sparta until she was 18. As handball in Finland was not competitive enough, she decided to pursue a professional career abroad. She first moved to Stockholmspolisens IF in Sweden where she played for one season, and then signed a contract with Norwegian club Larvik HK.

During her seven seasons in Larvik, Nyberg achieved great success. She was named Player of the Year of the Norwegian league in 2001 and 2005.[4][5] She also won the Cup Winners' Cup in 2004/05 and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2001/02 and 2003/04. By the time she left the club, she had scored an average of 6.65 goals per match, with 765 goals in 115 matches.[6]

In 2005, Nyberg signed a one year contract with Slovenian champion Krim Ljubljana.[7] But her stay at Ljubljana was prematurely ended in October when she suffered a serious shoulder injury. It required surgery and kept her away from the handball court for six months.[8] By that time, her relationship with Gro Hammerseng was already public and they had expressed their desire of playing for the same club. They received offers from Larvik, Ikast-Bording, Krim and other unidentified clubs, but they finally chose Ikast, where Hammerseng was already playing.[9][10][11]

With Ikast (now FC Midtjylland), Nyberg reached the final of the EHF Cup in 2006/07 and won silver at the 2007/08 Danish Championship.

National team

Katja Nyberg gained Norwegian citizenship on 16 January 2001[12] and made her debut with the national team on 23 March 2001 against France. She wasn't allowed to play for Norway in official tournaments until 2002[13] because she had competed at the 1999 Junior World Championship qualification for Finland.

Her first major competition as a Norwegian player was the 2002 European Championship where Norway received a silver medal. She then received a gold medal at the 2004 and 2006 European Championships.

Nyberg missed the 2005 World Championship due to the shoulder injury she suffered in Ljubljana[8], but she was with the team two years later when Norway won the silver medal at the 2007 World Championship in France. She was also voted Most Valuable Player of the tournament.[14] Apart from this individual recognition, one of her biggest achievements with the national team to date was winning the gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics.[15][16]

As of February 2009, she has played 99 games for Norway and scored 321 goals.[17]

Personal life

She is in a long-term cohabiting relationship with fellow FCM and Norway player Gro Hammerseng.[18][19]

Team results

National team
  • European Championship: Gold in 2004 and 2006, silver in 2002
  • World Championship: Silver in 2007
  • Summer Olympics: Gold in 2008[15]
  • Champions League: Semi-finalist in 2001/02 and 2003/04 (Larvik)
  • Cup Winners' Cup: Winner in 2004/05 (Larvik)
  • EHF Cup: Finalist in 2006/07 (Ikast)
  • Danish Championship: Silver 2007/08 (Ikast)

Awards and recognition


  1. Athlete Biography: Nyberg, Katja. Beijing 2008.
  2. Handbolls-EM 2006 - Grupp B: Norge. (in Swedish). sr.se.
  3. Katjas suksessoppskrift. (in Norwegian). Speaker.no. 20 November 2007.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Årets beste håndballspiller. (in Norwegian). Østlands Posten. 2001-05-05.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Årets spiller. (in Norwegian). Norwegian Handball Federation.
  6. Følg Linka til tusen søndag. (in Norwegian). Larvik HK. 2009-01-23.
  7. Katja til Krim med åpen retur. (in Norwegian). Nettavisen. 04.01.2005.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Nyberg mister VM. (in Norwegian). Demokraten. 2005-10-31.
  9. Katja og Gro møtte dansk klubb. (in Norwegian). Østlands-Posten. 2005-11-21.
  10. Superduoen velger Ikast. (in Norwegian). VG NETT. 2005-11-30.
  11. Norsk supertrio til Ikast. (in Norwegian). VG NETT. 2005-12-14.
  12. Katja Nyberg på landslaget. (in Norwegian). Norwegian Handball Federation. 2001-03-13.
  13. Katja Nyberg først klar for Norge våren 2002. (in Norwegian). Norwegian Handball Federation. 2001-06-18.
  14. 14.0 14.1 All Star csapatban. (in Hungarian). handball.hu. 16 December 2007.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Olympic Gold for Norway - crushed Russia 34-27. (in Norwegian). Norway Post. 23 August 2008.
  16. Women's Gold Medal Match - Match 42 / Norway vs Russian Fed.. Beijing 2008. 23 August 2008.
  17. Katja Nyberg. (in Norwegian). Norwegian Handball Federation.
  18. Hammerseng drømmer om barn. (in Norwegian). Nettavisen.no. 19 August 2008.
  19. - Ja, vi er kjærester. (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. 23 October 2005.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Katja Nyberg - Sparta. (in Finnish). Sparta IF.
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