The top four progress: a round-up of the Women’s division

#CAN, #COL, #JAP, #SideLinesWUGC, #USA, #wugc2016

Julia Dunn gives us a rundown on the Women’s division yesterday and what to expect today.

Quarter-finals

Torrential downpours last night threw quite a wrench into the schedule for WUGC 2016 this morning. Despite the waterlogging of most of the fields, the tournament directors communicated to all teams in the quarters excellently. The quarters happened on the high ground of pitches four and five, the only functional fields at the complex on Thursday. The women’s quarters followed all the predictions that our reporter Victoria Higgins made going into the day, with Colombia and Germany presenting the biggest question mark of the day.

Colombia ride their momentum into semi-finals

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Victoria Higgins watched Colombia top the German Women in the tightest quarter-final in the division. Here’s her report.

In episode III of an unintentional Colombian trilogy, a Colombian Women’s team beaten only by the USA so far faced off against Germany to vie for the opportunity to meet the winner of Japan vs. Australia in semi-finals on Friday.

Women’s quarter-finals are set: what happened and what to expect

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Victoria Higgins watched the Women’s division closely yesterday in case you didn’t. Here’s a report on what happened at the end of power pools, including the fall of Great Britain, during crossovers and during pre-quarters to set you up for the exciting day of women’s Ultimate in prospect today.

Pool play

Pool C closed at 1:30 pm. Sorry, no one’s getting back in. This is most unfortunate for the women of Great Britain, who accidentally left a break in there and missed out on a spot in pre-quarters by exactly that margin. Switzerland managed to lose to them in the first game of the day, but not by quite enough to lose their seat in the next round of elimination play—in a three-way tie in Pool C with Germany, Switzerland, and Great Britain each taking four wins and two losses, Great Britain needed one more break on Switzerland to stay alive.

Russia: Breaking marks, breaking seed

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Julia Dunn takes a closer look at Russia, probably the biggest surprise so far in the Women’s division following their rise from ninth in Europe to World quarter-finalists.

Russia’s Women’s team, the fourth seed in pool D going into the tournament, made their mark on the tournament today by upsetting the second seed Australia. Beating all their competitors except Colombia thus far, the dynamic squad showed that intense defence wins games. Coming in seventh place at EUC last year, the team has really grown in the past year leading up to Worlds.

Hong Kong forging their own path

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Sean Colfer talked to some players on the Hong Kong team about their aims for this tournament for developing the sport in their unique corner of Asia.

Hong Kong Ultimate has long been in a strange situation. Due to the nature of the city, with a large number of foreign nationals coming from across the world to live and work in such a vibrant, thriving place, many of the players involved in the scene there are expats.

New Zealand brings the thunder to powerhouse Swedish squad

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Julia Dunn watched a tight game between Sweden and New Zealand and spoke to the Kiwi captain afterwards about their journey to London.

That this game could play a key role in determining the second seed in pool A brought a riveting edge to the New Zealand and Sweden matchup on Tuesday. Both teams fought to the bitter end, coming down with amazing catches, putting on intense defensive pressure and making good decisions throughout the entire game. These teams were well matched in style of play, with their focus on the long game and fast transitions.

The state of the Men’s division – power pools

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Ravi Vasudevan summarises where we stand in the Men’s division.

Power pools have kicked off in the Men’s division here at WUGC. As a reminder for the format, the power pool winners get a placement crossover but are guaranteed a spot in the quarter-finals. The two and three spots in the power pools have to play a pre-quarter. The fourth place of power pools no longer get a chance at the brackets. Things were mostly chalk today (went according to seed) but there were some really compelling games.

Pool J – USA, Australia, Czech Republic, South Africa
There is a clear split between USA/Australia and Czech Republic/South Africa. Those two pairs of teams will compete tomorrow where USA vs Australia will decide who wins the pool and Czech Republic vs South Africa will decide who makes it to pre-quarters. These two games should be relatively close and the stakes are really high. USA vs Australia will be on the livestream at 9:30 tomorrow morning.

Pool K – GB, Belgium, Colombia, Singapore
GB had a statement win 15-4 against Colombia. This was a pretty big shock to a Colombian team who surely had higher hopes than this. However, the GB endzone defence never allowed Colombia to score and just dominated them all game. Belgium took three early breaks against Singapore and then the teams traded back and forth so Belgium took the victory. GB continued dominance against Singapore while Colombia and Belgium played a fiery game that was sadly plagued by too much physicality by the Colombians that resulted in a spirit timeout. Despite this, the Ultimate was great and Colombia won through great offensive efficiency, 13-11. It looks very likely that GB will hold off Belgium tomorrow morning and if that is the case and Colombia beat Singapore then GB, Colombia and Belgium will advance leaving Singapore out of the bracket. However, if Singapore manage an upset of Colombia then things will get interesting in a three-way tie between Belgium, Colombia and Singapore.

Canada's

Canada’s Rumi Tejpar goes up for the disc. Photo by Andrew Moss.

Pool L – Canada, Japan, France, Ireland
Just like in pool J, there is a difference between Canada/Japan and France/Ireland. Ireland did hang well with both Canada and Japan in the first half but in both cases the game got away from them in the second half. This means that the Canada vs Japan game will be key to decide who gets the pool win and after the infamous universe point game from 2012 in Sakai, there will be a lot of eyeballs on this game.

Pool M – Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden
This pool full of Europeans is fairly compelling. Read a full report of it here. Germany have all but locked up the one spot in this pool but the rest strongly depends on the result of Austria vs Sweden.

So, there are a lot of key games tomorrow for teams that want to win power pools and stay alive in the bracket. All the rest of the power pool rounds take place at 9:30 tomorrow morning and the bracket play will start at 13:30. Look for a recap of the first bracket round and a preview of quarters tomorrow.