Muslim Ultimate players deal with Ramadan at WUGC

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Ravi Vasudevan looked into how several of the Muslim players at Worlds this year have been able to play during Ramadan.

Ramadan runs from June 5 to July 5 this year. For those who don’t know, Ramadan is a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad. During this month Muslims do not eat food or drink water from dawn to dusk, among other sacrifices. This presents a challenge when halfway through Ramadan is the most competitive Ultimate tournament of the year. It is basically impossible to play sports at this level without water or food, and there are a few players here at WUGC who are handling this situation in different ways. I interviewed a few of them throughout the tournament.

Agony and ecstasy for Ireland Men

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Aidan Kelly took in a day of real mixed emotions for the Ireland Men’s team – one that began on a real high but, despite heroic performances, couldn’t quite finish that way.

It was a day of incredibly mixed emotions for Ireland’s Men’s team on Wednesday as they fought two competitive, entertaining battles against France and Australia here at the World Ultimate and Guts Championships.

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 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.

Pre-quarter madness in the Men’s division

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Ravi Vasudevan continues his recaps of the Men’s division by going back over the pre-quarters.

The Men’s knockout stages are underway and we started with the pre-quarter and crossover rounds today. Quarter-finals are tomorrow, semis on Friday and finals on Saturday.  Here is what the brackets look like.

Colombia and Belgium – great Ultimate tainted by need for a spirit timeout

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Ravi Vasudevan talked to the coaches after a fiery game between Belgium and Colombia in Men’s power pools resulted in a spirit timeout – here’s the perspective from both sides.

Colombia and Belgium met up today in the Men’s power pools. Belgium have been on the rise in the last few years and playing an established Ultimate powerhouse in Colombia was something that they were really looking forward to. However, the Belgians did not have as much fun as they were hoping in a match against the South Americans. The game was a near perfect affair with Colombia breaking once and holding the whole game. This made the final result of 13-11 for Colombia a very impressive display of Ultimate. However, there was a darker side to the rest of the game.

Boys in green secure their spot in power pools

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Aidan Kelly watched group D play out yesterday, where Ireland faced a tough job against strong German and Finnish sides to reach the power pools. Here’s what happened.

As the tournament hits full swing, the initial group games have finished up and shown us the meat of the competition in the form of power pool play. Pool D saw three Europeans in the form of Germany, Ireland and Finland alongside the unknown competitive entity of Egypt. On day one, Ireland made light work of the Egyptians while Finland took their game with Germany all the way in a tight game that finished 15-13 to the Germans. This set up an interesting second day where questions were raised of not only whether Ireland could topple Germany but if they would even beat Finland in the battle for contention.

Swiss make short work of pool F

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Pool F looked to be a very close on before the games started this week, with three strong European teams fighting it out for power pool places – Switzerland, France and Italy. Ravi Vasudevan took in the crucial games between the teams on Monday.

Day two is finished up here in London. For the Men’s division that means that pool play is over and it is time for power pools. Pool F started off with a surprise yesterday as Switzerland notched a nice win over France 15-12. With a traditionally strong Italian team in their pool, it looked like it was going to be quite a battle between Italy, Switzerland and France since only two teams can move on to power pools. Poland rounded out the pool but were not quite strong enough for the rest of the competition and lost by significant margins in each game.