Busy Saturday in a windy Poznan, as Germany in U21 Women and France in U21 Men became the new ICF World Champions while senior men and women finished their qualification rounds.
In the U21 category, no doubt that Germany still had on their mind the 2010 ICF World Championships Final lost to France. Revenge was on the menu and defeat was inconceivable. After a semi-final easily won against Great-Britain earlier during the day while France struggled against New Zealand, the German team entered the field of play as favorites. It was France, however, who put pressure on their opponent and scored first with a shot from midfield (1-0). Germany tied right before half-time (1-1) and returned very focused, taking the lead after 20 seconds only (2-1). Very well organized, and relying on a goalkeeper doing miracles, Germany scored again 3 minutes later (3-1). France then had to pressure their opponents in order to get the ball back, and came back in the game thanks to another long shot (3-2). Taking too many risks to equalize, France then eventually got countered and Germany scored again for the win (4-2). German coach Suzanna Luemkemann could enjoy her revenge: «I am very proud of my team and I feel so happy today. This team has not lost one single game during these World Championships and showed amazing physical, tactical and technical skills. Games against France are never easy and it proved to be true today again.” French team leader Laurent Brossat welcomes this silver medal:
Germany played very well while we had some difficulty to find our marks and play forward. It was better at the end when we took more control on the game but it was too late.
"This is a very young team that finished fourth in the Europeans last year. So this silver medal is beautiful. We have a lot of room for improvement technically so I am optimistic for the future.” New-Zealand took the bronze against Great Britain."
In the other final, France was facing Great Britain who managed to beat Germany in a breathtaking semi-final earlier during the day. They confirmed their good shape seven minutes into the first half (1-0), scoring first after four shots on the bar and adding a second goal one minute later (2-0). Like in their semi-final against New-Zealand, France looked nervous and unable to develop their game. Scoring a few seconds before half-time was thus a relief (2-1) and gave them enough motivation to aim for the gold in second half. They tied after three minutes (2-2) and two counterattacks perfectly played allowed them to lead 4-2. Great Britain finished strong again and managed to score a third goal (4-3) but it was too late to make it. French team leader Laurent Brossat was relieved not to endure a second defeat in final after losing to the Germans a few minutes earlier. “Once again we had some difficulties to find the right pace at the beginning. We got more dynamic in second half and it shows how psychologically mature this team is. This is very positive. This team is unbeaten here in Poznan.” Earlier on Germany took the bronze against New-Zealand.
Competition seen in the Men’s category was intense with some incredible games, amazing skills which provided great entertainment for the loud crowd who themselves appeared to be having their own supporters’ competition with Germany, New-Zealand and Great Britain a bit ahead of France who perhaps have been saving their voices for Sunday. Indeed, France will face Netherlands in the first of the two semi-finals, after Netherlands survived an amazing game against Italy where they were down to three players. In the second semi-final, Germany takes on Australia who yesterday appeared to be practicing tactics for today when they played Switzerland. France as reigning champions are very much in this and have been dominant throughout the whole competition. Is their time arriving again?
The women semi-finals see Australia-Germany and Great Britain-New Zealand. On their past performance Germany and Great Britain are favorites but the two Oceania teams will surely be looking to make the final.
The Poznan World Championships will also serve as the qualification competition for the 2013 IWGA World Games which will be held in Colombia.
The top 5 Men and Women's teams will be invited to compete at next year’s World Games, and the highest placed women's team from the Americas will also qualify.
You can download all results in one PDF at the top of this page in the results bar.