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Home arrow Tournaments arrow WG arrow World Games 2001 report

World Games 2001 report Print E-mail
Wednesday, 22 August 2001
Wednesday August 22 Final Match day

Orange with a golden taste 

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Aspal was again sold out for the final match as it was on almost all game days during the World Games (picture KNKV )

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Erik Simons proudly shows his gold medal (picture KNKV )

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Heleen van der Wilt sign the floor in Aspal (picture KNKV )

The Netherlands have won the gold medal after they outclassed Belgium. It was a big humiliation for the Belgians. Holland gave away a tremendous show. The first half The Netherlands played the best korfball of the last years. Before the half-time break The Netherlands gave the Belgians a great korfballesson. In all the details of the play the Dutch were simply better. Belgian coach Eddy van Hoof coached his last match for the national team, but he probably made his worst choice ever in his line-up. He gave Ronny Lenjou a place in the starting eight. Lenjou and teammate Steve de Jonghe were totally unable to do anything against Dennis Voshart and Erik Simons. For his third foul on Voshart Lenjou got a yellow card from Portuguese referee Francisco Ponciano. Before the break Lenjou was substituted by young guy Andy Gilles The Netherlands were playing free and without any pressure and so they cruised from 8-4 to 15-4. Also Gert Degenaers came in, but it didn't help the Belgians. They were more and more frustrated and couldn't get back into the game. The first quarter of the second half both teams didn't score. It seemed to be that the final was fading away, but in the last quarter (with four substitutes in the Orange team) the show went on. Man of the match Erik Simons got an applause substitution. After he left the field he was celebrating the success with the crowd that cheered the Dutch up. After the last whistle of the referee the party for the Dutch can begin, while the Belgians could hardly hide their feelings. 

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JKA President Ebashi, AOC President Hayashi, IKF President De Die, and IOC Member Geesink closely watching the korfball finals

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Chinese Taipei - Portugal

Chinese Taipei gets bronze medal
Chinese Taipei beat the Portugese team with a 16-17 score in a really exciting match for the bronze medal. Taipei deserved to win but they get some problems in then end of the game. For the loudly shouting audience it was a fantastic apotheosis of the game. After a slow start of both sides, Taipei get a four-point lead in the first half. Thanks to Sheng-Chieh Chang and Wen-Fai Cheng it was 4-8 and 8-10 at half time. The well organised Portuguese were destroyed but fight back. The Portugese women had a good role in the game. Especially Paula Antunes and Isabel Teixeira made some important goals to keep their dreams alive. At 13-16 Taipei looked to have a decisive gap in the score, but after 14-17 the nerves broke down. Portugal came close in the end it was not enough. But teams played at their best level. The Taipei-guys were better than their Portugese opponents while the Portugese women showed again their good play this tournament. The match was the last of referee Wim Dirksen. The Dutch referee was awarded the Pin of Merit for all he has done for korfball. IKF-chairman Bob de Die presented Dirksen the award before the match start.

David Synnot gives Great Britain fifth spot
A last minute goal of Britain's David Synnot gave Great Britain their much-wanted fifth spot in the World Games tournament. Great Britain and Australia gave the audience not a very high-standard game to watch, but it was really exciting. In the first half Australia surprisingly came ahead. Jeremy Harris and Karen Saunders-Zilm both scored three goals for the Aussies in the first half hour. At half time the score was 6-8. After the 6-9 the British team finally woke up. This was just in time. James McDonald, David Buckland and Saida Hanine got the score equal. Sam Wells gave Great Britain their first lead in the game. The end of the game gave a lot of tension. The nerves of the British players were better in control and they grabbed the fifthe place. For both teams the tournament result was disappointing, but with this last game they waved Rokugo a fine goodbye. 

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Australia - Great Britain

Tuesday August 21   Fourth Match day
Although this morning the sky is still blue, gradually the clouds are coming into Akita's skies, with the approach of typhoon Pabuk into the prefecture. Severe storms are expected for tomorrow, the final day of the championship, and contingencies are being planned for the varioius side events taking place. As of now, no disruptions are expected for the korfball programme, although the temparture in the hall will increase due to the fact that the temporary airconditioning has been dismantled as a precautionary measure. Also, all food and souvenir stand and the spectator bar has been moved from the outside plaza to the indoor venue. All are closely watching the news, and the outdoor competitions of the WG have been postponed.

Portugal keep their bronze medal dream alive
The Portugese team have underlined their ambition for winning the bronze medal in the World Games by winning against Great Britain: 15-12. The English team didn't have the necessary recovery after yesterday's poor performance, while the Portuguese women again showed their importance for the team.After a very nervous begin of the game with not so many goals, the Portuguese came ahead: 4-3.  The break came with 7-4 and at 10-6 the British team seemed to capitalise, but the recovery was there. David Synnot en Jane Abbey had some important goals to make it 11-10. At that time the tournament got to its first really close game. Quick scores by both sides made it a very attractive en exciting finishing of the game. The Portuguese had some luck with the 12-10, but kept the nerves better than their opponents. At 14-10 en 15-11 the first celebrations of the Portuguese reserves were seen. After the game the players showed a great relief for reaching the game for the third place. 

Chinese Taipei save themselves in the second half
Chinese Taipei became the second team that qualified for tomorrow's bronze medal match. It was a little bit expected that the disappointing team of Australia would get no chance, but Australia could maintain hopes for a long time during the gamed that the result would go their way. At the end there was a 18-12 score on the scoreboard for the Taipei team. For three quarters of the game both teams were equal in score. At 13-8 Taipei improved their performance. With some great goals in the ending of the game they made the decision. Australia gave their best of the tournament in the first half. The team was a strong opponent for the Taipei team, and was as different from their performance in the earlier games like day and night. The Asians got their scoring opportunities, but there were a lot of misses. After fifteen minutes the score was only 3-2. Taipei intended to take the initiative, but the great spirit of the Australians kept them in the game. They were fighting for every ball and it was succesful. At half time Taipei was leading by just one goal (6-5). In the second half their play improved and there were a lot of goals, which made the game into an exciting one. Chinese Taipei showed at the end why they deserved to get into the bronze medal match. The match for the third position gives them a new match against old rivals Portugal. At the last World Championship in 1999, Portugal was the winner, but it is yet to be seen who will be the victor in tomorrow's match.

Monday August 20   Third Match day

Chinese Taipei finishes second in pool
Chinese Taipei showed their good shape in an exciting and interesting game against Great Britain. The Asian team won 17-8  and claimed the second spot in the group behind Belgium. Ten minutes in the second half Great Britain brought in some substitues. It was the sign that they let the game go, as they get another chance tomorrow against Australia. The British team were unable to score the goals they needed. 
Chinese Taipei had a successfull start of the game. They took the initiative soon and didn't give it away. Great Britain were really frustrated with the start of the game. Coach Ronald van der Bunt had to take a time-out after only eight minutes to get his team back in the game. It didn't have its intended effect and Chinese Taipei cruised to a 8-3 score. Wen-Fai Chen was the leading woman in the beginning of the match with her four great goals. The eighth goal of Taipei was a penalty shot, given after Dave Buckland made a big foul on Sheng-Chieh Chang. Referee Wim Dirksen decided to give Buckland the yellow card  for this charge. The second half the level went down, but Taipei gave one of the competitors for the bronze medal a big blow.


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British shot at goal

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Chinese Taipei time-out

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David Buckland received a yellow card for a charge on Sheng-Chieh Chang

Easy win for attractive Portuguese team 
The Portuguese team have made clear what they can do in the tournament. Portugal gave a good performance against Australia (22-14) underlining their ambition to become the third korfball team in the games. After 5-5 Portugal got the first real advantage: 9-5. The Australians showed in the middle part of the game that they understand the importance of the match. Till 13-11 they held their chances, but then Portugal secured their deserved second place in the group behind The Netherlands. The women Carla Antunes and Paula Alvaro both have two important spectacular goals. With the best man Pedro Vinagre they were the leading three Portuguese players of the day. Australia was saved by the bell at 22-14, because otherwise they could get a bigger humilation. Both teams can still make it to the third place, but for the Australians that looks to be very difficult.
The game was witnessed by World Games President Mr Ron Froehlich and the IOC Sports Director Mr Gilbert Felli.

Sunday August 19   Second Match day

Netherlands win place in final by easy win
Netherlands have also secured their anticipated spot in the final after easily beating Australia. The next two days, the real battles will be for the bronze medal, with all four matches anticipated to be very close. Netherlands had no problems with the disappointing Australia team. The scores in especially the second half were of very good level. Tim Abbenhuis, getting his 25th cap, gave a great performance after the break with five superb goals. Kees Slingerland was the topscorer of the match with seven goals. Also the Dutch women put themselves on the scorelist. Australia made the poorest impression of the six teams till so far. Hopefully they had a good excuse in concentrating fully for the important match against the Portuguese.

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Netherlands attacking against Australia

Belgium win their place in the final
Belgium is the first team that secured their place in the World Games final. The Belgians recovered from their poor performance on the opening day by winning against Great Britain: 25-15. Belgium played with many of the U23 players that nearly won the World Youth Championship in South Africa last month. In the starting line-up were determined to show their skills. Especially Gert Degenaers (topscorer with five goals) and Detlef Elewaut showed what they can do for their country in the future. Great Britain can be satisfied with their first competitive performance in the tournament. The English players showed they have a good ability to score the goals. David Buckland and David Synnot (with six goals the main scorer of the team) gave their team a real boost. The good and varied attacking game of the British only gave them some problems in defence, but it was clear that the work of head coach Ronald van der Bunt not missed its effect. At half time the British team was 8-14 behind, but at the end the difference became ten goals. Belgium gave at the end of the match some special goals to the enthousiastic audience. Special notice in this game: Belgian girl Debby Everaert celebrated her birthday with three goals and British Samantha Wells made the only female-made goal for her team. 

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Great Britain lines up during the national anthem

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Debby Everaert celebrated her birthday by a win

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Gert Degenaers topped Belgium's scorers list with 5 goals against Great Britain

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Rob Williams attempts a running-in shot

Saturday August 18   First Match day

Dutch open in style
In a promising opening match of the World Games Korfball Tournament in Akita (Japan) the Netherlands have given themselves a fine start by beating Portugal 29-12. The Dutch team showed their good qualities especially in the first half when they immediately after the first whistle began to score. After a concentrated first half it ended in 16-3 at half time. After the break the Portuguese played a very brave and promising second part of the match. They were allowed to show what they can and they did. Portugal came back until 22-10. Then Holland decided to give the enthousiastic crowd a nice finish of the first game. Some great goals of Dennis Voshart and Leon Simons (with one hand high in the air) and also a tremendous score of Portugese player Filipe Cardoso gave the public what they deserved: a spectaculair opening match. Dennis Voshart had seven goals on the score sheet and named himself the most succesfoull player of the match. Also Erik Simons (six goals) and the substitutes Heleen van der Wilt en Daniel Hulzebosch made a very good impression .

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Dennis Voshart (NED) attempt to get past Filipe Cardoso (POR)

Local school have been preparing for supporting specific countries as part of the WG Cultural experience. During the tournament they support the teams by expressions from the various countries

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Supporters for the Dutch team.

Korfball Opening Ceremony
After the match the Korfball Tournament was officially opened during a traditional opening ceremony. IKF-President Bob de Die received a special present, a real kimono with Rokugo Town Korfball decorations, from the mayor of Rukogo, Shigehiro Sakamoto. Dressed with the kimono Mr  De Die was speaking some words  of thanks in the Japanese language to the local audience.

Belgium only one half at their level
Belgium has started the World Games-tournament with a 16-9 win over Chinese Taipei. The Belgians only showed their skills in the first half. After a nervous start of both teams Belgium took the lead and seemed to be landed in the game. With the two scoring guys Sven Hardies and Steve de Jonghe Belgium reached a 12-5 half-time score. But in the second half the Belgians couldn't dominant the match as before. A lot of missed shots and better defending and rebounding of the Chinese Taipei team made it a second half with few goals. Both teams added four scores to their total. The end came with a 16-9 score. Chinese Taipei got their chances to came back in the match, but there was not time enough to make a real upset possible. Belgium had a bad second half, but they were lucky Chinese Taipei had not the ability today to make advantage of it. 

Friday August 17 Training and Final Preparations
All teams had the last practice day today before the start of the Tournament tomorrow. This time the conditions in the hall were similar to the match conditions, as the airconditioning installations has been installed, bringing the temperatures in the hall down from far above 30C to about 25C, thus improving the conditions of play dramatically. Most players have adapted to the local conditions after jet lag, except for the Portuguese team that only arrived Thursday evening.
Also, the jury today inspected the venue, made a few small changes, but generally expressed great appreciation for the preparations made by the AOC, the Japanese Korfball Association and Rokugo Town. 

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Rokugo Town is surrounded by beautiful rice field and mountains

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Entrance to Aspal

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Aspal Gymnasium during practice hours

Thursday August 16 Opening Ceremony Day

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Akita traditions during WG Opening Ceremony

The korfball contingent was widely represented today in a fantastic opening ceremony of the World Games in Akita. With Portugal not having arrived yet, the remaining five teams and the Japanese host team marched into the fully packed Yabase outdoor stadium in Akita. Tempartures again reached very high levels, with 33C again recorded. Following the athletes' oath to respect the values of the World Games, the opening show took place, with many representations of Japanese culture. Hundreds of drums were played and thousands of citizens of Akita prefecture participated in the opening ceremony, watched by many IOC members and Presidents of International Sports Federations. IOC President's representative was very impressed with the Opening Ceremony and (on Friday) also issued a statement that he was very impressed with the level and commitment of the athletes.

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