With just 90 days left until the first floorball match to be played at the World Games 2022, our countdown will see the first team to compete in Birmingham, Alabama this July; Switzerland!
The journey to the World Games 2022 began on Floorball World Championship 2020 December last year in Helsinki where, alongside the hosts, the top five finishers, top AOFC and top AMER teams would qualify United States of America for the 2022 world games in Birmingham, Alabama, United States.
Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic and Switzerland were the first to qualify, followed by Thailand who beat the Philippines in a nerve-wracking shootout for 13th place and qualifying to Birmingham Canada which placed 12th and was the top-ranked AMER country. Latvia completed the World Games lineup by beating Norway for 5th place.
Switzerland is a silver medalist at the last World Games in Wroclaw, lost to Sweden in the 2017 final. They survived the group stage by beating the USA (17-0) and losing 3-0 to Sweden. In the semi-finals, the Swiss met a strong Finnish team and prevailed with an impressive 5-2 victory to take revenge against Sweden in the final. The final was a close affair with a 5-point tie before the start of the third period where Sweden scored to take the lead and then ended the win with an empty net goal.
Nonetheless, it was a positive experience and tournament for Switzerland at the 2017 World Games, having placed 3rd at the previous World Championships in 2016. They hope to up the ante this year and win gold for the first time!
Photo by Adam Troy
Switzerland will not take part in the World Cup qualifying events in May as they automatically qualified as hosts for the November 2022 World Cup. Therefore, unlike the other teams participating in the World Games, it will not have an international warm-up competition before the games in July. Whether that will be an advantage (to give players more recovery after a long and Covid-hit season) or a hindrance (no official national team competition) remains to be seen.
Manuel Maurer is one of the main players in the Swiss team, representing them at every World Cup since 2014 and also at the 2017 World Games, where he received two assists to help them win the silver medal. Watch the interview from Adam Troy with Manuel Maurer from the Swiss team as part of our Road to World Games interview series to find out more about his background and hopes for the upcoming World Games tournament.
How well will Switzerland do at the World Games in Alabama? Only time will tell but they are sure to be one of the favorites with a talented, experienced and hungry team!
The previous 2017 edition in Wrocław was won by Sweden, who defeated Switzerland 7-5 in the final. Finland took 3rd place, followed by the Czech Republic in 4th place, the United States in 5th place, and hosts Poland in 6th place.
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