With the wheelchair hockey world championships having concluded this past weekend in Munich, Germany, the host team finished fifth. The event was won by the Netherlands.
Team manager Julian Wendel was quoted by Deutscher Behindertensportverband as saying, ” Although we knew from the beginning that we are due to a personnel upheaval not as strong as in 2010 and in Group A with Belgium, Italy and Finland had three very strong opponents, are nevertheless disappointed to have not reached our destination, the semi-finals. In the first game against Belgium (6: 6) and in the second against Finland (6: 4) we have certainly missed some opportunities. And after the victory of Belgium v Finland has 7 to 2 against Italy unfortunately not helped us. ”
Stefan Utz, involved with organizing the event, was quoted as saying, “Despite the disappointment with our 5th place, we are more than happy about this in our opinion very successful World Cup. The work of the last year has paid off and using over 100 volunteers we have found an event on the legs, such as the electric wheelchair is unparalleled for a niche sport. We are proud and very grateful for the great support of all sponsors and supporters, without whom we could never have realized this World Cup. ”
The team played their games before a crowd of usually over a thousand people at the Munich Olympic Ice Hockey Stadium. The team has both male and female players with different levels of physical disabilities. Depending on the severity of the disability, a player is assigned a point from 1 to 4, and each team was allowed a maximum of eleven total points on the floor at any time. They played their games on a court that as 28 meters long and 16 meters wide. Getting into the sport can be a challenge as some chairs cost upwards of €13,000. German players leave the competition hoping that in the medium term, their sport may get one step closer to being added to the Paralympic program.
In other team placement, Belgium finished second, Finland finished third, Denmark fourth, Switzerland sixth, Italy seventh and Australia eighth.