Karl Müllehner: “Above all, TWG offers a great stage for Fistball”

Karl Müllehner: “Above all, TWG offers a great stage for Fistball”

Both the men’s and women’s Austrian Fistball teams very narrowly missed the podium in the bronze match at The World Games in Birmingham 2022. This sour memory has only encouraged Fistball player Karl Müllehner to work harder towards his team’s qualification for The World Games 2025 in Chengdu, China.

For the 27-year-old and his team-mates, there’s only one tangible issue at TWG 2025: “At the least, we want to go home with medals around our necks. It would be a dream to contest a final.”

Luckily enough, Austria clinched the silver medal at the last edition of the IFA 2023 Fistball World Championship, losing 4-0 to the German defending World Champions in Mannheim (GER) in the final match. This outstanding outcome enabled the team to secure one of the five spots available and lock in their Chengdu 2025 qualification.

“Winning the silver medal at the World Championship meant a lot to us, because we were able to qualify for the TWG 2025 and the hard work we invested in this sport has paid off.”

“Above all, The World Games offers a great stage for our sport. For me personally, TWG Opening Ceremony in Birmingham was a huge highlight. I am looking forward to the new culture and the many sports in Chengdu,” Müllehner says.

Hours and hours of training in the gym and on the Fistball court are required to remain amongst the world’s best teams.

“The strongest opponents we have, as of today, are Germany, Switzerland and Brazil. At the last edition in Birmingham (USA) in 2022, these three nations were on the podium. For us, it is necessary to challenge them next year and, at best, beat them,” Müllehner explains.

“To achieve this, we train several times a week. In addition, we have many courses within the national team, to coordinate with each other.”

The women’s team has had a similar fate in Birmingham, which has reinforced the relationship with their male counterparts. The two teams have a great bond which goes beyond the pitch, for the love they share for Fistball. The women have yet to qualify for Chengdu.

“We have a very good connection with the Austrian women's national team. Above all, we always try to push and support each other.”

Fistball isn’t a professional sport in Europe, so player Müllehner works at the Olympic base in Linz, Austria, as well as training with the national team and his club. As a result, he is in daily contact with athletes to help them achieve their goals. A life he is very proud to lead.

“In Vöcklabruck, where I live, we have great sports facilities in perfect conditions; my club is very easy for me to reach, as it is only 5 minutes away. Especially the club is very important to me because it is like a big family,” he says.

He will spend the rest of the year training for the Austria league and the European Championship. “My plan is to win the Austrian league with my club, and then hopefully also the European Championship in Switzerland with the national team.”

The International World Games Association (IWGA) is a non-profit-making international sports organisation recognised and supported by the International Olympic Committee. The IWGA comprises 40 International Member Sports Federations. It administers and promotes The World Games (TWG), a multi-sport event held every four years that features around 35 sports on its programme. The next edition of TWG will be in Chengdu (CHN) from 7-17 August 2025. 5,000 participants from more than 100 countries are expected to take part in this 12th edition. The latest Games were hosted by Birmingham, Alabama (USA).

For more information, please contact the IWGA Media and Communication team: [email protected], Tel: +41 21 311 12 97, or visit our website.