Like father, like son
Any fistball fan with a knowledge of the sport will have heard of Dirk Schachtsiek. The celebrated German player was considered the finest in the world during his playing days and was voted “European Fistballer of the Century”. He won the World Championship a record four times and received two gold medals at The World Games; his Germany team winning finals in Karlsruhe 1989 and The Hague 1993. Son Ole has clearly learnt a thing or two from his celebrated father. Ole was named in Germany’s squad for Birmingham 2022, and with their victory in the final, he has added to the family collection of golden souvenirs from various editions of The World Games. The German success was their fourth in a row at The World Games, so their players Patrick Thomas, Fabian Sagsetter and Tim Albrecht are all now triple champions. Despite their first loss in 49 games in the qualifying group, the German women also topped the podium; a women’s competition was included at The World Games for the very first time in Birmingham.
Flores blooms as Mexico reach Flag pole
Diana Flores led Mexico to a shock gold medal in the women's competition of the Flag Football, as they comprehensively beat pre-Final favourites USA 39-6. Flores, who has been playing Quarterback for the national team since she was just 16 years old, was in devastating form as she connected five times with receivers in the end zone. Mexico’s offence was potent, their defence outstanding as they limited every tournament opponent to just one touchdown. Flag football, which was presented in Birmingham in association with the NFL, is a slimmed down, no padding, no contact form of the sport and could easily feature at the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics. Mexico’s victory will help strengthen the case for inclusion, as it proves American football is played seriously in more than one country.
Flores said about the sport “It's the fastest and most creative format of the game. Personally, I fell in love with flag because of the opportunity it gives me to express myself - and because it feels so empowering for me as a woman to be playing this sport."
Record 72 nations have won medals at The World Games
The Birmingham edition of The World Games has been the most diverse games to date, not only with the inclusion of wheelchair rugby as the first ever disability sport to feature on the program, but also the podium ceremonies have been much more cosmopolitan. A record 72 nations have had their athletes stand on the podiums in The Magic City. For nations such as Brunei, Costa Rica, and Cambodia, their star performers were the first athletes to ever medal at The World Games. Now another nation can be added to that list of podium debutants. Kickboxer Ikbol Fozilzhonov draped himself in the Kyrgyzstan flag and sported a traditional national hat, before the referee declared that he was the winner of the bronze medal bout.
71-year-old athlete wins silver medal
There are a number of amazing things about British athlete Tony Peck. The first is he is the oldest athlete in Birmingham. The second is that this is the first time he has competed at The World Games. The third and possibly most impressive is that he helped Great Britain to the silver medal in the Tug of War 640kg! Clearly not a man who believes in putting his feet up as he gets older. The medal probably makes him the oldest athlete to ever climb a podium at The World Games, truly the most diverse multi sports event on the globe!
Brian Salmon for The World Games
The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the International World Games Association, organised with the support of the International Olympic Committee. The 11th edition of The World Games will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 7-17 July 2022. 3,600 athletes from 34 sports and over 100 countries will take part in The World Games.