Staff Reporter Windhoek-Pitted in Pool D alongside Spain, France and Great Britain, Namibia opened their assault in the FIRS World Roller Games in Nanjing, China, against pre-tourney favourites and eventual winners France and suffered a humiliating 8-1 defeat. The next game was against losing finalists Spain, which Namibia lost 6-2 before completing the first round against Great Britain, that saw the Namibians putting up a much improved performance following a 4-all stalemate. Africa’s sole representatives managed to carve themselves a place in the next round for the placing in the highly competitive Nations Cup, as the top 8 finishers out of the 17 participants continued to fight it out for the ultimate prize, the World Cup. Namibia’s junior men suddenly picked up momentum – dispatching Chinese Taipei 5-1 before brushing aside big brother Germany 6-2 on the same day in the playoffs. Canada was next in line but the latter proved too strong for the Namibians recording a 7-3 victory. However, the Namibians played excellently in a tightly contested match, pounding their opponents’ goal with shots that just would not end up in the net. As a result, any lingering hopes for a gold or silver medal were dashed and Namibia had to gun for a possible bronze medal going into their remaining games. It started with a fantastic match against eventual winners New Zealand, in which Wim van der Plas scored a well-taken hat-trick, closely tailed by Erik Rubbert with a brace. The Namibia junior men’s team now stands at 11 out of 17 in the world ranking at FIRS – certainly a definite improvement on the team’s last performance in Italy last year, which was almost made up of the same squad. Joint coaches Matt Wojcik, Brian Sobel and NIIHA expressed satisfaction with the team’s overall performance.
2017-09-07 10:46:32 1 years ago