It nay have taken us three cracks, but we finally stitched up what we came here to get: World Games qualification. Poland 2017, here we come. Apologies for the hugely delayed post, the celebrations lasted a while last night.
Our day was once again fundamentally straightforward. We trained in the morning, at Lotto Arena, on a half court with one post, while our opponents trained at the other end. This is what normally happens in tournaments, but hadn’t been the case so far in this one. However, we normally have more than one post to train on. The lack of posts and the eager eyes of Hong Kong curtailed what we could do, but we still managed some game simulation and shooting games. I’m not sure why we were now training at Lotto Arena. Someone suggested it was to acclimatise to the venue, with the bright lights and LED hoardings. It’s a great theory, the only problem was we had already played a match there the night before! After training a few of us headed down to the pool again, and again, I felt much better after a quick swim. Some of the Catalonian team were down there too, enjoying their rest day, hitting a balloon at each other and then splashing each other as well. I think there was a game of some kind going on, but we couldn’t figure out the rules.
After all this was the big match, our grand final, against Hong Kong, for the second time in three days, We started strongly, and pulled away fairly quickly, and kept building the lead the whole game, coming away with a 23-9 win. We were able to acknowledge Jess May’s achievement of playing in four consecutive World Championships, in the most korfball way possible: sub them off with a few minutes to go, and present them with flowers while giving a standing ovation. It was nice to be able to pay tribute to what is a huge achievement. It was also nice to sew up World Games qualification, even if we had had two shots already. We can now grow and build towards that tournament, in two years time, and with any luck, the majority of the team will be able to stick together.
This means the tournament is now done for us, even if it is continuing for some other teams. Thanks to everyone for your support, and messages of encouragement, it really does mean the world to us. It’s been a privilege to be able to share what’s been going on with you all. While we have no more matches this tournament, stay tuned to the Facebook page to keep up to date. There will be one final post, but I’m not sure when that will get online.