The final between rivals The Netherlands and Belgium was very close, with half time reached at 12-11 for the Dutch. However, five minutes into the second half, with the score 14-14, the started Dutch an eight minute “blackout” ending with Belgium leading 19-14. Nobody would put their money on the Dutch at this stage but they didn’t give up and equalized just before normal playing time ended, the scoreboard stopping at just 0.1 second as their equalising goal was given, leaving the score at 23-23. The Golden Goal period started with the Dutch shooting precisely to score in their first attack. But Belgians equalised in their attack to make it 24-24. The next attack finished with a wrong Dutch shot and the Belgians used their chance to win 25-24. The last time Belgium had defeated their Dutch rival in an IKF Youth level Championship was 28 years ago in Marbella and it was 23 years ago since the Belgians had defeated their neighbours in any IKF major final.
The bronze medal match was between Portugal and England. This game was not about good quality shooting and was very close until the 33rd minute when Portugal stepped forward with two goals to open a lead that England could not close. They finally won 14-11 (h/t 5-5) placing Portugal 3rd and England 4th.
In the other matches, the game between Czechs and Catalans was expected to be a close fight, but the spectators saw a parallel with the Brazil world cup semi-final as in only the sixth minute it was already 7-1 for Czechs and the Catalans looked really down. But the Czechs thought that game was decided and let Catalans to come back to a more acceptable half time score of 13-10 for Czech Republic. In the second half, however, the Czechs didn’t allowed any more questions to be asked, raising the difference to 10 goals ending game 26-18, confirming the Czechs Republic 5th and Catalonia 6th.
The match for 7th and 8th place was Germany vs. Russia. The Russians started better, but Germany hit back to lead 8-7 at half time. It remained balanced until midway through the second half when Germany began to prevail, finally winning 18-13 placing Germany 7th and Russia 8th.
Hungary played Poland for 9th place. The game was equal until half time (7-7) but second half started with a Hungarian offensive and the Poles couldn’t pull back, resulting in a 17-13 win for Hungary placing them 9th and Poland 10th.
Turkey did not play on the final day and were placed 11th.
The IKF photographer Mr Cor Mantel was around in Olomouc (CZE) to make pictures. We give you an impression.