Saturday, August 6, 2016

My 30th World Footbag Championships travel diary - day 11

What a day did we have to conclude this World Championships in Trnava. I want to take a moment to thank all the people that were involved in making this event happen. Special thanks to Dexter Struz who made my life easier in anyway he could without ever loosing his smile. Having power cords to fire up my cameras instead of operating them with batteries is a life changer when you film 2 days of action non stop. Many thanks to Mr Mayor Peter Brocka to welcome us in his city with a lot of perks.
Also a big thanks to all the support staff for the food, setting up the sites and handling our requests so beautifully. Also thanks for the event directors, on the net side it was Tuomas Karki, for freestyle I'm not sure but thanks anyway. And once again thanks to the generous donators that made my trip possible.

Women doubles

Now back to the action on the courts and in the freestyle arena. In the first match of the day two of our girls from Montreal offered us our sole title for this year in the Women's doubles. Some solid play by Geneviève Bousquet and Maude Landreville lead them to a convincing victory over Lena Mlakar, the little Slovenian dynamo and her partner Piia Tantarimaki, the Finnish powerhouse. Congrats to all of you it's beautiful to see you play.
Maude Landreville and Geneviève Bousquet, happiness after the win in women's doubles

Open doubles 3rd place

Next was the bronze match in Open doubles and it turned into a grueling duel between Americans Walt Houston and Ben Alston versus the French team of Sébastien Maillet and Grischa Tellenbach. Ben and Walt finally won it in the third set after the French mounted a serious comeback fro 5-13 to 14-14. The Americans closed the debate with pain and sweat but overall it was a well deserved win.

Mixed doubles

Following the 3rd place men's match it was time for one of my favorite events, the mixed doubles finals. I love to see a woman and a man work side by side on the court (and everywhere else for that matter). Florian Gotze and Kerstin Anhuth beat Arthur Ledain and Lena Mlakar in a quality match where Arthur seemed a little off. Florian on the other side was...Florian, the greatest net player of the last decade. Well done my friend. 

Freestyle events

There was women the women circle contest. It seemed a little disorganized at times with 6 players, which in my opinion is a bit too much. Win by Tina Aeberli.

In the open team freestyle finals the 2014 and 2015 winners repeated, Martin Sladek and Tomas Tucek are in a class of their own. Nice effort by team Madrid though as Paloma Mayo was obviously hurt and still courageously played with her partner Sergio Garcia. We could see the potential of the routine and the creative flow of these two.

The women singles routines offered some good moments but overall too many drops. Another win by the great Tina Aeberli from Switzerland.

Finally in the Open routines Evan Gatesman from the USA clinched the only titles that he never had before at Worlds. The legend Vasek Klouda came in second. No dropless routine this year in the finals.

Open doubles

The tournament returned to the net court and concluded with the doubles finals, the most awaited net event. After playing against Arthur Ledain in the Mixed doubles finals Florian Gotze partnered with him to face the Finnish team or Matti Pohjola and Janne Uusitalo.

If Arthur was off in the Mixed it was a totally different story in the doubles finals. Flo and him dominated all the aspects of the game, offence, defence and limiting the unforced errors.

Arthur also hit a series of incredible spikes derived from Sepak Takraw a cousin sport from east Asia. Roll spikes, sun backs were numerous and crazily athletic. Florian Gotze although having a more conservative spiking style hit his part of winners and their team demolished the Finns 15-2 in the second game after winning the first set. Big win, big shots and big fun. This is it the 37th World Footbag Championships is over. Of course we had a chance to say goodby with a good party at the end. See you next year in Portland, Oregon, USA.
Arthur Ledain and Florian Gotze celebrating their World doubles title - Photo by Pro Kicker

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