Namibia Fifth At U18 Fistball World Champs

The Namibian U18 fistball team finished fifth overall at the U18 World Championships in Brazil on Sunday, after achieving a historic first ever victory against Switzerland.

After winning their preliminary round matches against Chile and Argentina, Namibia faced Switzerland in the last game of the round.

What should have been a walk in the park for the Swiss who where touted as favourites against Namibia turned out to be the game of the tournament for the Namibians.

They won the first set 13-11 and although the Swiss retaliated by taking the second set 11-7, the Namibian team kept their nerve to win another two sets to win the match 3-2.

In the process the Namibian team made history since it was the first time that they had beaten one of the top European fistball nations in an international competition.

This meant that Namibia qualified for the third-place play off where they once again met Switzerland. This time around the Swiss did not underestimate the Namibians and quickly took a 2-0 lead before Namibia pulled back a set. The Swiss then took the decisive fourth set by a close 11-9 margin to win the match and qualify for the third place play off.

Namibia competed in the fifth place play-offs which were a one-sided affair. Namibia easily beat Chile 11-2, 11-4, 11-4 and then dominated their game against Argentina barring a slight lapse in concentration in the second set, to win the match 11-7, 5-11, 11-7, 11-7.

Coach Andreas Minz remarked after the games that he was very satisfied with the result, and especially with the performance the Namibians delivered in the preliminary round.

Minz and his team won a lot of respect at the tournament. Summarising his team’s performance, Minz said that although the Namibians had a shaky start to the tournament they improved from game to game and were on par with their more fancied European and South American opponents.

The performance of the U18 national team bodes well for the Namibia Fistball Association’s efforts to send a senior national team to the Men’s World Cup which will be played in Argentina in November 2015.

An Overview of the Namibian matches:

Preliminary round

Germany – Namibia 3-0 (11-6, 11-4, 11-7)

Brazil – Namibia 3-0 (11-8, 11-5, 11-7)

Argentina – Namibia 0-3 (14-15, 4-11, 6-11)

Austria – Namibia 3-0 (11:8,11:7, 11:6)

Chile – Namibia 0-3 (3-11,7-11,4-11)

Switzerland – Namibia 2-3 (11-13, 11-8, 10-12, 11-7, 9-11)

Qualifying match for the third place play-off

Namibia – Switzerland 1-3 (2-11, 7-11, 11-9, 8-11)

Fifth place play off:

Namibia – Chile 3-0 (11-2, 11-4, 11-4)

Namibia – Argentina 3-1 (11-7, 5-11, 11-7, 11-7)

Final standings:

1. Germany

2. Brazil

3. Austria

4. Switzerland

5. Namibia

6. Argentina

7. Chile

Source : The Namibian