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Fistball U18 5th at World championships

Back (from the left) Andreas Minz (Coach), Erik Kolb, Sven Hülsmann, Nikolai Hof, Marius Rohloff, Dirk Wolters (Team Manager) Front (from the left) Tristan Minz, Andrè Meng, Rico Kühnle-Kreitz, Marc-Andrè Witte, Andrè Schmidt-Dumont. Photograph by the Fistball Association of Namibia.

Back (from the left) Andreas Minz (Coach), Erik Kolb, Sven Hülsmann, Nikolai Hof, Marius Rohloff, Dirk Wolters (Team Manager) Front (from the left) Tristan Minz, Andrè Meng, Rico Kühnle-Kreitz, Marc-Andrè Witte, Andrè Schmidt-Dumont. Photograph by the Fistball Association of Namibia.

The Namibian U18 Fistball national team successfully concluded the U18 World Championships in Brazil on Sunday. Captain Tristan Minz and his team mates won fifth place and in the process achieved a historic win against Switzerland.
The fifth place play offs were a one sided affair. Namibia easily beat Chile by 11:2, 11:4, and 11:4 They dominated their game against Argentina baring a slight lapse in concentration in the second set winning by 11:7, 5:11, 11:7 and 11:7. Coach Andreas Minz remarked after the games that he is very satisfied with the result. Especially with the performance the Namibians delivered in the preliminary round.

After winning the 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 of the game by 13:11. Although the Swiss retaliated by taking the second set 7:11, the Namibian team kept their nerve to win another two sets taking the game by 3:2 sets. This win add historical significance. It is the first success by a Namibian Fistball national team against one of the top European Fistball nations in an international competition.
This meant that the team qualified for the qualifying match for the third place play off. Here they once again met Switzerland. This time around the Swiss did not underestimate the Namibians and quickly took a 2:0 set lead before Namibia pulled back a set. The Swiss then took the decisive fourth set by a close 11:9 margin to qualify for the third place play off.
Nevertheless coach Minz and his team won a lot of respect at the tournament. Summarising his teams 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 Associations efforts to send a Senior national team to the Men’s World Cup which will be in Argentina during 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

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