06 Aug 2018 13:20pm
WINDHOEK, 06 AUG (NAMPA) - Namibias Under-21 mens canoe polo team has qualified for the International Canoe Federation World Canoe Polo Championships in 2020, after finishing 11th overall in this years edition of the world competition over the weekend.
The Namibian team made it to the second round of the competition, which took place in Welland, Canada, but did not qualify for the semi-finals after finishing bottom of their group. However, they defeated Japan in the 11th place play-off match on Sunday to gain automatic qualification to the 2020 World Canoe Polo Championships which will be hosted in Rome, Italy.
Sixteen countries participated in the U-21 Mens section of the world championships with Namibia finishing above Japan, Ireland, Chinese Taipei, host Canada and Argentina.
Meanwhile, Namibias senior mens team finished 21st overall out of 23 participating teams after defeating Argentina 8-3 in their 21st place play-off match on Sunday. Namibia had not won any of its previous seven matches at the world championship, but held their own to win their final match and to finish above Argentina, and Singapore.
The Namibian teams participation in the World Canoe Polo Championships was in jeopardy when the company hired to manufacture their boats, was involved in an accident.
A Canadian company stepped in and sponsored seven canoes to the Namibian team, valued at around N.dollars 278 000 in total. The Canadian company also offered to ship the canoes from China to Canada, just ahead of the start of the competition.
The leader of the Namibian team, Anton Jacobie was quoted by a Canadian newspaper as saying the canoes they ordered from the European manufacturer did eventually arrive in Canada, three days into the competition.
Jacobie told the newspaper that the Namibian team now had an excess of six canoes which they decided to sell at less than cost to the Iranian team, which also had complications with equipment inventory.
Canoe polo is a little-known and practised sport in Namibia with only a handful of people, mainly family groups, engaging in the sport. Jacobie said his teams received no assistance from the government and had to cover their own travel, accommodation, equipment and participation expenses.