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Namibia set to face Czech Republic … as the indoor hockey world cup roars to life today

by Kelvin Chiringa

The fifth edition of the women indoors hockey world cup will kick-start today in the German city of Berlin and the Namibian team is raring to go, coach Erwin Handura has said.

The games will drag until the 11th of February and the world’s top 24 (12 men’s, 12 women’s) national indoor teams will take part in the event which will be held in the 7,500 seat Max-Schmeling-Halle.

The Namibians are captained by Maggy Mengo who, despite having suffered an injury recently at home, has managed to recuperate well.

The team constitutes, Maggy Mengo, Petro Stoffberg, Kiana-Che Cormack, Suzanne (Zani) Van Lil, Sunelle Ludwig, Ina Louis, Marcia Venter, Jeani Holz, Jocelle Deysel, Gillian Hermanus, Dure Boshoff and Berencia Diamond. 

Namibia will face off with the Czechs at 11.35 am, reigning European Champions and rated world’s number three. 

On the 8th, Namibia will take on Australia (world number 8) and Ukraine (world number 7) with the following day bringing their might against the Russians (world number 17).

The team arrived in Berlin on Sunday from its training base in Cologne and has had eight training sessions, played six friendly games winning three of them, losing two and drawing in one. 

Namibia has since played and won against a German elite team, Rot-Weiss Köln.

Since arrival on Sunday, the girls have had two training sessions, last 8-9 and Monday morning 0800 - 09:30 

The Namibians have also managed to have a practice match Monday evening at 18:00 against the USA and with the arrival of all the teams, Handura said they could not play their normal attacking game. 

“We don't want to give away our game plan especially against the Czech Republic whom we're playing in our opening match on 7 Feb,” reported Handura.

Yesterday the team was set to pay a courtesy call to Namibia’s High Commissioner in Berlin before taking a rest and later the evening watch footage of Czech and study the accordingly.  

This will be the third time that Germany has hosted the Hockey Indoor World Cup after  successful events held in Leipzig in 2003 and 2015.