GRIESKIRCHEN/PÖTTING. After months of preparation, the Austrian National Fistball Team is finally going to the World Games in Birmingham (USA). The team consists of three players from UFG Sparkasse Grieskirchen/Pötting: Simon Lukmair and Philipp Einsiedler and physiotherapist Hehard Horvath. With former UFG player Theresa Eidenhammer in the women’s national team, Hausruckviertel’s fourth player will compete at the World Games.
The World Games – the “Olympic Games of the Non-Olympic Games” – will be held from July 7 to 17 in Birmingham, Alabama. More than 3,600 athletes from more than 100 countries will compete in 34 sports and fight for the coveted medals.
Fistball has been a world sport since 1985. Fistball tournaments will be held from 10th to 14th July. A total of eight national teams – apart from Austria, Germany, Brazil, Switzerland, Italy, Argentina, Chile and the host USA – are vying for the coveted medals. Simon Lukmair already won a bronze medal at the World Games in Poland in 2017.
Farewell to the Federal President
Preparations for Lukmeir and Co. took place like the Olympics: all the athletes dressed in Vienna last week, after which the Austrian delegation was bid farewell by federal president Alexander von der Bellen at the Hofburg.
“The World Games is an impressive event that brings together everything that defines sporting events: diversity, unity, tolerance and overcoming boundaries together,” the head of the federation underlined the importance of the World Games, which are held every four years.
Horvath is the longest serving member of the team
Simon Lukmeir and Philipp Einsiedler have been called up by team boss Martin Weiss to play in defence, with “Witcher” Gerhard Horvath helping the boys get back on their feet as a physio. Incidentally, Horvath is the longest-serving member of the team, having featured in major events for the national team since 2005. “He was one of the most important parts of the national team for many years,” says Simon Lukmair.
“We want to go to the final.”
“We are well prepared for the World Championships. The games are sure to be an unforgettable experience for all athletes and a special talent. For the sport, the goal is to win a medal and of course we want to make it to the finals,” said Burns defender Philipp Einsiedler.
“The whole club is keeping their fingers crossed and rooting for our boys and the Austrian team. This call-up is a reward for the hard work our entire Bundesliga team has been putting in over the years,” says UFG Division President Christoph Oberlehner.
Theresa Eidenhamer in the Women’s National Team
For the first time in fistball history, women’s fistball competition is part of the World Games programme. In Austria, Greiskirchner-born Theresa Eidenhammer and former UFG player (playing for ASKÖ Laakirchen) made the national team. Teresa is still closely associated with the club and is active in marketing for UFG. Six national teams are participating in the women’s tournament. Apart from Austria, world champions Germany, Switzerland, Brazil, New Zealand and host USA have qualified.
As in the Olympics, where the athletes are housed in the Athletes’ Village, the opening ceremony takes place in the Defense Stadium with a large parade of 45,000 spectators and delegates. A number of concerts will be headlined by Nelly or Bigboy from the group Outkast.
On that day www.fistball.tv You can follow the Austrians’ games in live stream. Sport1 will broadcast the final – with Lukmayer and Einzeitler – live on July 14 at 9pm.
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