Sweden Team World Champions
Sweden defended their title in the team competition in the
World Open in Vienna last weekend. A record number of 10
countries took part in the competition, following the entrance of
new countries Poland and Greece.
Sweden was huge favourites and lived up to these expectations. The Scandinavians still have an impressing number of high quality players. Such strong characters as Stefan Adamsson (Swedish Champion 2003) and Mats Källberg (World Open Runner-up 2002) were missing in Vienna, and in the final against Germany Sweden could afford to put World # 5 Rickard Persson aside.
But those who expected the final to be a walk in the park for the Swedes were wrong. The games in team events are played to 11 and strange things can happen - and they did! Altmeister Volker Sach caused an upset when he beated World # 2 Roland Helle and Silke Altmann were close to beat ex-World Champion Lilian Druve. In the end, however, the winning score was 25 points for Sweden after comfortable victories for Magnus Eliasson against Holger Stamm and Pär Carleke (World Vet # 1) against Kristian Aschenbach.
The Germans had reasons to celebrate too after their biggest success so far in this sport. Since most of the current German elite origin from the Frankfurt area we look forward to see more from the 80-million country.
Germany beat second-seeded Scotland in the quarter-final. A true shock for the Scots whose main goal of the season was to surpass the rivals from England. Led by Douglas Struthers and John O´Donnell England, on their part, eliminated Finland in the quarter-final before losing to Sweden by 53 points in the semifinal.
The World Open organizers from Austria defeated Poland and then lost to the neighbours from Germany. In the match for 3rd pirze England won by 11 points against Austria and earned a much longed for bronze-medal.
Full results from the team event can be found at the World
Championship tournament web site.