The Asian teams from China and Hong Kong were the surprises on the first two days of the 10th IKF World Korfball Championship. China, currently ranked 10th in the world and second in Asia, surprisingly beat Portugal, 3rd at last year’s European Championship and ranked 4th in the world. Having lost the prior day to England after a golden goal, Portugal has missed qualifying for the top 2 places in their pool, and will not be able to finish higher than then 9th spot.
In a packed hall in Tielen, Belgium, the Portuguese started well against the Chinese, taking a lead to 9-2 in the beginning of the match. However, at half time the Chinese had almost made up the difference, coming back to 9-8. In the second half, the Chinese took the lead and, except for leveling once briefly, never lost control anymore of the match. With the victory, the Chinese have qualified for The World Games 2017 in Poland. They will play England tomorrow to decide who finishes top of their pool.
In another surprise, Hong Kong yesterday beat Poland. Also Hong Kong have set their ambition to reach The World Games, now that the IKF has decided to give more opportunities for non-European countries to qualify, in a move to further strengthen intercontinental competition.
In other matches, there were no surprises. Favorites Netherlands, Belgium, and Chinese Taipei so far have cruised to easy victories and have already secured their first position in their respective pools. The final pool matches will be played tomorrow, with Australia and Russia playing for a place in the top 8, just like Hong Kong China and Catalonia.
Full results and current pool ranking are available at worldkorfball.org
Jan Fransoo2015-10-31 22:18:042015-11-18 20:42:46Asia surprises on first days of WKC2015; Portugal surprisingly drops from top 8