Sunday, 28 July 2013

World Games 2013 Competition

Apologies for not updating sooner. There was a lot of disappointment in the Team Canada camp (read: Jen and I) after the first round. Both our matches played out in a similar way and with similar results.

Team Canada, post match
Jen was in trouble from the get go, as Christina was moving and shooting well, while putting pressure on Jen with solid serving and forcing Jen to go for more aggressive shots. In contrast, Jen struggled to find her range and with bad luck on all fronts. From bad bounces, unfortunate mishits from her opponent, and no help from the officials she was fighting an uphill battle all match. Christina took the first game handily but to her credit, Jen regrouped and played with more desire in the second but still struggled with her shot making. Things remained quite even until the tail end of the second game when Jen pulled ahead to 14-12. She served for the game a couple of times unsuccessfully before Christina was able to score 2 points to tie at 14 all. Jen confidently took the serve back though and the rally that ensued ended with a mishit skip from Amaya. Unfortunately for Jen the ref saw it differently and the call was held up under appeal, much to the surprise of everyone watching who thought it was a fairly clear skip. A clearly deflated Saunders surrendered the next point to Amaya, who would move onto the quarter finals.

With Alejandro after the match
My match ended up with a similar result albeit a slightly different dynamic. I knew the match would be tough as I'd played Alejandro several times in pro stops over the years and we always seems to have close battles. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself playing solid out of the gate and opening up a lead of 7-2. Alejandro responded, but I was able to retain my lead to 12-6. After a timeout by the Colombian and a few loose points that saw me miss shots I should have made, Alejandro went on a serving spree. There were a few aces in the mix but mostly just funny bounces off the already hard to read glass walls which made the serves nearly impossible to return. I was deflated but not out of the running as I stabilized with him now nearly caught up at 11-13. There were a few changes of serve at this score and even though I had opportunities, for some reason I just couldn't find my focus on my set up opportunities and helplessly watched my lead slip away. He would take the first 15-13. Unfortunately for me he would ride this momentum through the second as well. Relying heavily on inconsistent bounces in the back glass corners that for some twisted reason always seemed to work out in his favour. I struggled with my own shot making as well, completely taken aback by how I had been robbed of the first game and this allowed him to sail through, winning the second easily 15-6.

So it was an unfortunate day for Canada but good for Colombia. We skipped the racquetball club yesterday in favour of checking out some of the other sports! We decided on Sumo (as it was close by) and in-line hockey, as Canada was playing the Czech Republic which we were told would be a competitive game. The sumo was actually very interesting and surprisingly entertaining to watch. I was quite taken aback by how many times c
In-line hockey! GO CANADA!
ompetitors would fall out of the ring and off the raised platform. I think I would hurt myself doing that, let alone if I weighed 300lbs and had another person fall on top of me. We caught the last bit of the women's (some large ladies there...) and all of the men's open preliminaries. This was extremely interesting to watch because there is no weight restriction in the open category. They had every shape and size from small ex-wrestlers to 400lb sumo champions and seeing how size is used as an advantage like that is something you don't often get to see.

After the men's prelims concluded, we caught a taxi to the in-line hockey venue which was about 15 minutes away. With about 40minutes before the game started, we decided to grab some food and drinks at the mall nearby. The helpful volunteers walked with us there and back, pointing out things along the way in case we were interested in sampling any local cuisine or purchasing souvenirs. After a quick bite, it was back to the arena, where the first period had just begun. In-line hockey is an interesting game as well. They play 4 on 4 and there are no blue lines so the game is extremely open and prone to breakaways and odd man rushes. This made for many exciting plays at both ends of the ice but our boys looked solid, carrying a 3-1 lead into the second period. Our passes allowed us access to the VIP seating, and since these weren't as full, we were able to switch ends for the second period, thinking that most of the action would again be in the Czech end. Unfortunately for our boys, this was not the case. The Czechs pressed hard in the second, playing with desperation that for whatever reason the Canadians didn't have, and with less than 2 minutes to play the Czechs (now within one goal at 2-3) pulled their goalie. This confused Jen and I as we had (mistakenly) assumed there would be 3 periods of play. To their credit the Czechs were able to score with just over a minute left and tie the game, but they left their goalie on the bench. The only explanation that Jen and I could come up with was that they needed to win the game outright for seeding purposes. This theory was given credibility when the game ended in a tie and the Czech team showed visible frustration while the Canadians seemed happy to have the tie. All in all, it was an extremely enjoyable way to spend our day and after taking another taxi back to the hotel, retired with cervezas and dinner.

In racquetball news, Christina Amaya played well, upsetting both the 7th and 3rd seeds in the quarter and semi finals to find herself guaranteed a medal! She will play current world champion Paola Longoria for Gold today. There was an upset on the men's side as well, as fourth seeded Gil Mejia took out first seed and current world champion Rocky Carson in a tiebreaker. The second seed, Polo Gutierrez, was also victorious over his american opponent, third seeded Jose Rojas, although it was an extremely tight tiebreaker win. Gutierrez actually trailed 9-5 in the tiebreaker before a skipped setup from Rojas gave him the serve back and he was able to pull out the win 11-9. The finals are set for today and we will be taking them in so I'll report on them later.

A short sumo video for your enjoyment!

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