Disappointed at first, but in retrospect very proud: Mario Nüsslein (left) and Lukas Funk returned from the World Championships in Varazdin, Croatia, with silver in their luggage. © DKBC
The title was within reach: The German national team led by Mario Nüsslein and Lukas Funk from VfB Hallbergmoos only had to bow to Austria at the World Cup.
Varazdin/Hallbergmoos – Bundesliga club VfB Hallbergmoos was represented by three athletes at the World Team Bowlers Championships in Varazdin, Croatia. While Bogdan Tudorie and the Romanians reached the quarter-finals, Lukas Funk and Mario Nüsslein narrowly missed out on the big win with the German national team. Nevertheless, the Hallbergmoos team now has two runners-up in their ranks.
In the preliminary round matches, things went according to plan for the VfB bowlers and their teams: The Germans, in which Funk and Nüsslein made their appearances, qualified for the quarter-finals as the leaders of Group A with four wins against Hungary, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Italy and Sweden. Tudorie, who lives in the airport municipality, also made it into the last eight with Romania thanks to second place in Group D.
World champion one size too big
In the quarter-finals, however, the Romanians met world champions Serbia and were beaten 1-7, which also meant the end of the World Cup for Tudorie and his teammates. The Germans did better: They clearly had the upper hand against Slovakia with 7:1, with Nüsslein and Funk stepping in as substitutes and thus also playing a part in reaching the semi-finals.
Germany beats the fearful opponent
In the semi-finals, Serbia was not only the reigning world champion, but also the fearsome opponent waiting for the Germans. After all, they hadn't won against the Southeast Europeans for eight years. And it turned out to be the expected close and difficult game: After the first three games, the Serbs were ahead with 2004 wood, but the German team had already scored two team points and was only six pins worse. In the second round, Nüsslein made his big appearance: He lost to Adrijan Loncarevic in 2:2 sets with 649:659 wood, but did not let his opponent pull far away. Jürgen Pointinger and Timo Hoffmann were able to close the bag – Team Germany triumphed with 6:2 points, 14.5:9.5 sets and 3963:3929 wood.
From hunter to hunted
For the two Hallbergmoos players, the victory against Serbia was already a great success. "I was actually nervous before every game. But the biggest tension in the team was before and during the game against Serbia," said Nüsslein. Funk added: "We knew we could beat Serbia. But we also knew that we would be the hunted."
(By the way: Everything from the region is now also available in our regular Freising newsletter.)
In the final, the Germans then had to deal with the Austrians, who, after winning Group C, had won 5-3 against Hungary in the quarter-finals and narrowly 4-4 and 3924-3903 wood against hosts Croatia in the semi-finals. "For me personally, Austria was already a co-favourite in the run-up to the tournament – and they had shown good performances throughout the World Cup," said Funk. So the German team was warned. Nüsslein: "We knew that Austria would be a tough opponent and that we would have to go one better after the game against Serbia." But although the Germans achieved their best tournament result with 4004 wood, it was not enough for the world championship title. Because the bowlers from the Alpine republic even marked 4076 wood and ultimately prevailed with 6:2 points and 13.5:10.5 sets.
In the end, satisfaction prevails
Mario Nüsslein, who was replaced by Lukas Funk in the last set of his game, was of course disappointed after the final: "The chance to become world champion was within reach. But Austria was just too strong that day. In retrospect, of course, we were still happy about the silver medal." This also applies to Funk: "I think it will take me a few more days or weeks to realize that with the silver medal I won."
Historic marathon meeting at the Stadtverband für Sport in Freising
Jahn triathletes show their heels to the competition
Freising volleyball player master in improvisation
Second cruciate ligament rupture: Sabine von Bechen thinks about ending her career
Sportsman's choice in Freising: Tennis player Toni Stippler is Sportsman of the Year 2019
Fancy a voyage of discovery?
You can find even more up-to-date news from the district of Freising on Merkur.de/Freising.