Recap Day 1 – Many favorites secure victories on the opening day of the World Championship – Germany defeats Namibia

Jul 22, 2023

Titleholder Germany started the 16th IFA Fistball Men’s World Championship with a clear victory on the first day of the tournament. And in the other seven preliminary round matches, the favorites prevailed in front of 2,200 spectators at the Mannheim Rhein-Neckar Stadium.
Germany – Namibia 3:0 (11:2, 11:5, 11:4)

Olaf Neuenfeld had announced his intention to give playing time to the entire 10-player squad against Namibia, and he succeeded in doing so. The reigning champions had a perfect start to the World Championship on their home turf, and they also gave Jonas Schröter the appropriate gift for his 27th birthday. The starting five, with Patrick Thomas and Nick Trinemeier as strikers, overwhelmed the men from Southern Africa in the opening set with a score of 11:2. Germany only conceded nine points in the following two sets. Despite the defeat, the large crowd of fans from Namibia was impressive, creating a lively atmosphere in the stands. The fans rejoiced at every point against the overwhelming favorites and celebrated loudly.

Czech Republic wins the first match of the championship
Czech Republic – Japan 3:0 (11:3, 11:9, 11:6)

The opening match of this World Championship was filled with great excitement as the Czech Republic convincingly won 3:0 (11:3, 11:9, 11:6) against Japan. The Czech team, led by coach Jan Mazal, showed a convincing performance from the beginning and only faced some difficulties in the second set.

New Zealand’s victory with the “Haka”
New Zealand – Australia 3:0 (11:6, 11:5, 11:6)

The Oceania clash between New Zealand and Australia had a similar one-sided outcome, with the “Kiwis” claiming a 3:0 victory (11:6, 11:5, 11:6). They hyped themselves up before the match with their traditional “Haka” performance, which generated immense enthusiasm in the stadium.

Italy takes a set from Switzerland
Switzerland – Italy 3:1 (11:3, 9:11, 11:7, 11:6)

Switzerland fulfilled their duty and won 3:1 against a strong Italian team. After an almost perfect first set, an exciting second set unfolded. Italy, led by their attacker Armin Runer, who scored points with clever shots, secured a well-deserved set victory. Swiss coach Oli Lang made two substitutions, bringing in Tim Egolf and Leon Heitz, and despite losing the second set, they secured a ultimately comfortable victory.

USA impress against Belgium
USA – Belgium 3:0 (11:3, 11:4, 11:4)

With their clear 3:0 victory against the surprise team Belgium, the US boys took an important step towards winning their group. The Americans were never in real trouble against Belgium, who qualified for the World Championship at the last minute due to India’s withdrawal.

Denmark’s attack power secures victory
Denmark – Serbia 3:1 (11:4, 9:11, 11:3, 11:1)

Denmark dominated almost the entire game, with Serbia only managing to keep up in the second set, earning them at least one set victory. In the subsequent sets, Denmark’s strong attacking game proved to be the decisive factor for the victory.

Austria with a strong tournament start
Austria – Argentina 3:0 (11:3, 11:5, 11:9)

Austria arrived with ambitions for the title and confirmed them with a strong performance in their opening match against Argentina. In the 3:0 victory against the South Americans, the 2007 World Champions had some difficulties in the third set, with Argentina holding on until 8:8. However, Team Austria sealed the victory with the second match ball.

Brazil’s powerful attackers celebrate a confident victory
Brazil – Chile 3:0 (11:2, 11:7, 11:8)

In the first floodlit match of this World Championship, Brazil achieved the expected success against determined Chileans, who fought with all their might. However, they ultimately lacked the skills to match the powerful and attacking Brazilian team. From the beginning, Brazil showcased their top form and were on par with the strong title contenders from Germany and Austria.

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Photo: New Zealand striker, Josh Cameron
Photocredit: Moritz Kaufmann / IFA

Photo: German striker, Nick Trinemeier
Photocredit: Ines Weber / IFA

Photo: Austrian striker, Jean Andrioli
Photocredit: Petra Den Dulk

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