Science - June 2, 2005

Russians korfball champions

The team from Oryol in Russia won the European Student Korfball Championship held last weekend in Wageningen. The Russians beat a team from the University of Utrecht by 8 to 7 in an exciting final, which was only decided in the last minute with a penalty throw.

Korfball is a sport that is played mainly in the Netherlands and Belgium. Teams made up of four men and four women have to try to get a ball through a round ‘basket’ suspended at the top of a 3.5 metre high pole.

The Russians were the favourites to win, for although korfball is hardly played outside the Netherlands and Belgium, the sport has become a tradition in Oryol. The town is twinned with Leeuwarden in Friesland. One of the members of the Russian team even played in the first division in the Netherlands last year. The team was also motivated because the local university had promised to pay for the students’ travel only if they were placed in the top three.

In addition to six Dutch teams and the Russian team, teams attended the championship from Hungary, Italy, Turkey and England. The Wageningen student korfball club Débaldérin had organised the event. The Wageningen team ended in ninth place. / KV

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