First historic medal: Belgium is European champion of Ultimate indoor (video)

While the FIFA World Cup monopolizes the attention of Qatar, Belgium performs in a growing sport: Ultimate.

Officially recognized by ADEPS since September 1 of this year, this sport is spreading like wildfire in our kingdom and the results are already there.

Belgium is, since this Sunday, December 11, champion of Europe indoor Ultimate. “It is a championship which took place over three days“, explains Benjamin Zwarts, one of the team’s players. 16 countries were present in the men’s category, and Belgium had to face the best.

After easily dominating Austria (17-5) and Slovakia (17-8), the first real test for our national team comes in the third group match against Lithuania. “Lithuania is, along with Latvia, one of the two strongest countries. We were stressing“, says Benjamin. Finally, Belgium won 17-13 and finished in first position in their group.

A final before the hour

In the quarter-finals, Poland is easily dismissed (17-5). But it is Latvia that awaits our Belgians in the semi-finals. A qualified match “d‘anthology“. “It was a final before the hour, the stress was palpable“, remembers the resident of Mont-Saint-Guibert. “It was incredibly intense, each team made very few mistakes.

At the end of regulation time, the scoreboard indicates 15-15. The rule is clear: the first team to score wins the match. And it is the Belgians who will manage to push the score to 16 in their favor, to reach the final. “The celebration against Latvia was stronger than when we won the league“, says the European champion.

“We got scared”

For the decisive match, it is Finland that the Belgians will challenge. A team considered inferior, but which gave our team cold sweats. “We had underestimated them a little“, recognizes Benjamin. “We took the game seriously, but we got scared. We dominated, but we were never confident about our lead.”

In the end, Belgium wins 17-14 and wins its first international title in this discipline. The victory is all the more symbolic as it was the very first indoor Euro organized by the international federation.

Objective Euro outdoor

On the strength of its continental title, Belgium will come to the European outdoor championship with confidence and ambition. It will take place next July, in Ireland.

Outdoors, itis more complicated“, tempers Benjamin. “It’s possible to get gold, but England are favourites. We hope at least a podium“, he confides then.

The outdoor ultimate is different from the indoor one by the number of players on the field (7 per team instead of 5 indoors) and the field is also much larger. “Indoors, we play on a futsal pitch while outdoors, we play on a football pitch, but a little narrower. 35 meters instead of 50, but we are 7 and not 11 like in football“, specifies the player of 29 years.

There is still a long time to go before heading to Ireland to defend the national colors there, but one thing is certain: on D-Day, the Belgians will be ready.



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