Windhoek-Despite competing for the first time internationally, Namibia’s floorball teams yesterday dominated headlines in Austria after the country’s male team narrowly defeated Mexico 3-2 on penalties to reach the semifinals at the Floorball Winter Games in Austria.
Before conquering Mexico on penalties, the two countries played to a full-time score of 4-all and no goals came through in extra time, hence forcing the match to be decided on a shootout. The Namibian male team was expected to face India late yesterday.
Also flying the country’s flag high was the Mixed team, which equally booked a place in the semifinals via a comprehensive 8-3 victory over Sri Lanka and they were expected to face Burkina Faso late yesterday.
Held every two years as part of the Special Olympics World Games, the 2017 Floorball Winter Games is taking place in Austria in four different host cities – Graz, Schladming, Ramsau am Dachstein and Rohrmoos-Untertal.
A team of 26 players and officials from Special Olympics Namibia are representing the country in Austria as the Namibia participates for the first time ever in the Floorball Winter Games.
With the sport fairly new to some of the players, the team started with preparations last June with the help of Thorsten Hogenborg, a teacher at the Deutsche Höhere Privatschule (DHPS). Namibia competes with about 106 other countries.
Floorball is a type of floor hockey with five field players and a goalkeeper in each team. Men and women play indoors with sticks similar to those of hockey and a plastic ball with holes measuring about 22–23 cm. Traditionally, matches are played in three 20-minute periods indoors.