Day three of WJUC 2012 saw the conclusion of the initial tial pools in the Junior Open and U17 Open divisions, whilst the ladies continue to battle on in this first stage of competition, which draws to a close for them tomorrow. Although blustery at times, ‘Rio of the North’ continued to surprise the tournament organisers by delivering sun for large periods of the day – but don’t get used to it…our sources at Met Eireann tell us that after an unseasonably dry start to August, the rain is due to set in over the next few days – we hope you brought your rain gear.
There were a number of teams that went into yesterday with a perfect record – inevitably this would change as these teams clashed through the course of the day. In the Junior Open division, it looked like the teams from the Americas are the ones to beat, although I am sure there will be some European nations that disagree.
In Pool D, Colombia continued in the rich vein of form the show case game on Sunday to top the group undefeated and will be joined in the power pools by Israel and Japan.
In Pool C, Germany marked themselves as one of the top European nations, being the only European team to keep their 100 % record. Italy came a close second in this pool, only losing to their European rivals. These two teams are joined in the power pools by Russia.
Pool B, was comfortably won by an undefeated Canadian team that will be looking to continue this form through the end of the week. After beating Great Britain in a spirited battle on Monday, Sweden lost to a fired up Irish team, who were looking to push themselves into the power pool. This lead to a three way tie for the remaining two spots in the power pools, which ultimately went to Sweden and Great Britain.
In Pool A, the USA took on France to see who would leave the initial pool unbeaten – this ended in a comfortable win for the States. Speaking after the match, one of the US captain’s, Amos Adams from Massachusetts, said, “We are definitely feeling good…constantly working on things.” Coming from such a vast country, the US team have gone through applications, West Coast and East Coast trials with successful players making it through a further two day trial before the final selection. They met as a team for the first time one week before the tournament and as it progresses we will see how this talented group of athletes come together. France and Australia claimed the remaining to berths in the power pool.
Not wanting to be out done by their Open division counter-parts, in the Junior Women’s division, Colombia, Canada and the United States of America all also maintain their 100 % records, remaining on top of Pools A, B and C respectively. I caught up with one of the Canadian captain’s, Amira Maddison, before their game against the German U17 team. They had met Italy earlier in the day in another clash between two undefeated teams. ‘It was close in the first half, but we turned up the pressure in the second half’. It turns out that the Canadians are ‘still getting used to the Dublin weather…in Vancouver its more rainy than windy.” There is still one further round of initial pool play matches in this division to get through before the power pools kick off this afternoon.
The initial pools of the U17 Open competition also drew to a close yesterday with two teams sitting on top of the piles unbeaten. Germany topped Pool A with France hot on their heels heading into the power pool. In Pool B, Italy progress through to the power pool with a 3 and 0 record – they will be joined by Israel who finished second.
As the tournament heads into the third day, things are starting to take shape in all divisions. The power pools will have different significance for different teams. Some will be trying to fight for a place in the knock-out rounds, others will be consolidating on earlier victories to try to give them the easiest route (according to the seedings that is) through the quarters. Will any of the teams from across the pond suffer their first loss? Will we see the sun again?
With material from the official newsletter – editor Mark Earley. Please find the newsletter including all results here.