GRISKIRCHEN / PÖTTING. After months of preparation, the Austrian national handball team has finally moved to the World Games in Birmingham (USA). The squad includes three players from the UFG Sparkasse Grieskirchen / Pötting team: Simon Laugmayer and Philip Einsiedler as players and physical therapist Gerhard Horvath. With former UFG player Theresa Edenhamer on the women’s national team, the fourth player from Hausruckviertel is taking part in the World Games.
The World Games – the “Olympic Games of Non-Olympic Sports” – will be held from July 7-17 in Birmingham, Alabama. More than 3,600 athletes from over 100 countries will compete in 34 sports and fight for the coveted medals.
Fistball itself has been a global game sport since 1985. Handball competitions will take place from July 10-14. A total of eight national teams are vying for the coveted medals – plus Austria, Germany, Brazil, Switzerland, Italy, Argentina, Chile and hosts the United States have qualified. Simon Lugmair was already at the last World Games in Poland in 2017 and won the bronze medal.
Farewell to the Federal President
Preparations for Lugmair and Co went exactly as at the Olympics: last week all the athletes dressed in Vienna, after which the Austrian delegation was bid farewell by Federal President Alexander van der Bellen in Hofburg.
The Federal President stressed the importance of the World Games, held every four years, as a main event: “The World Games are an impressive event that brings together everything that defines sporting events: diversity, unity, tolerance and overcoming borders together.”
Horvath as the longest serving member of the team
Simon Lugmair and Philipp Einsiedler are called up by team boss Martin Weiß to play in defense, “Witcher” Gerhard Horvath helping the boys get back on their feet as a medic. By the way, Horvath is the longest-serving member of the team, having participated in the major events of the team since 2005. “He has been one of the most important elements of the national team for years,” says Simone Logmeier.
We want to go to the final.
“We have prepared excellently for the World Games. The Games will definitely be an unforgettable experience for all the athletes and there will be a special flair. In terms of sports, the goal is to win a medal and of course we want to reach the final,” defender Burns Philippe Ensedler.
“The entire club keeps its fingers crossed for our boys and the Austrian national team and supports them. The call-up is a reward for the hard work the entire Bundesliga team has done for years,” said UFG division chief Christoph Oberliner.
Theresa Edenhamer in the women’s national team
For the first time in the history of handball, the women’s handball competition became part of the World Games programme. In Austria, Greskerchner-born Teresa Edenhamer and former UFG player (playing with ASKÖ Laakirchen), joined the national team. Theresa remains closely associated with the club and is active in marketing for UFG. Six national teams are participating in the women’s competition. In addition to Austria, world champions Germany, Switzerland, Brazil, New Zealand and the host United States were able to qualify.
As at the Olympic Games, the athletes are housed in the athletes’ village, and the opening ceremony is held in the Protectorate in front of 45,000 spectators and with a large procession of delegations. The opening will be accompanied by several musical acts led by Nelly O’Big Boy from the Outcast group.
on me www.fistball.tv Austria matches can be watched live. Sport1 will broadcast the final – hopefully with Lugmair and Einsiedler – live on July 14th at 9pm.
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