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The triumphant Great Britain Women Flag’s Football squad has returned from Ireland having won the IFAF European Flag Football championships. The victory means that GB Women will now be the number one ranked Europeans to compete at the World Flag Championships in Finland, next year.

GB men also did exceptionally well to secure a berth with a sixth place finish in Limerick on Sunday evening.

Pictures: Andy Keith

GB women earned their gold medals – and securing a first-ever continental title – by beating reigning champions Spain 26-19. Brittany Botterill was announced Most Valuable Player in the final.

Meanwhile, the men’s final ended with Germany beating Austria, following up their elimination of Denmark, which had claimed the previous six straight titles, in the semi-finals. GB men completed the tournament with a European ranking of 6 after losing 20-18 to France in their final positional game.

A record total of 33 teams from 20 nations were represented showing the growth in popularity of the sport.

Gold medal-winning Great Britain receiver Phoebe Schecter said: “These Championships have felt historic and important in so many ways. I’ve been really privileged to be part of many championships over the years. The level has increased every year but there’s been an even bigger jump this time.

“I think a lot of that is being driven by increases in participation. We have way more people involved in this sport, but also the way we’re pulling in elite athletes from other sports. To see those skills being showcased here at the highest level, it’s so promising here for the future of this sport.”

The tournament was the second of three continental events taking place in 2023 as part of an expanded international competition framework in flag football leading towards a record-breaking IFAF World Flag Football Championships in Lahti, Finland in 2024.

Flag football is one of nine additional sports shortlisted for potential inclusion in the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028.