WFDF 2012 World Ultimate and Guts Championships starts in Sakai, Japan
08 July 2012
The skies just cleared in time for the Opening Ceremony and showcase games marking the official start of the WFDF 2012 World Ultimate and Guts Championships. Everyone was there; only the Open teams from Japan and New Zealand had to prepare for the opening game. The Sakai Sparrow Dance Federation and the Japanese Takio Drummers "Miyako" entertained the crowd of some 2000 spectators attending the Opening and listened to the speeches given by WFDF President Robert "Nob" Rauch and JFDA President Fumio Morooka.
Photo supplied by Neil Gardner - nzsnaps.com
The Opening game was played by the Open teams from Japan and New Zealand. Japan was a clear favourite to win, but the vocal crowd was very happy to see the Kiwis score early on. There were glimpses of some excellent play on both teams but the Japanese really played very precisely and pulled away from the New Zealanders leading 9-4 at half. Although the Kiwis tightened up a bit in the second half end eliminated some errors, there was no stopping the Japanese team and they comfortably took the game 17-9.
The second game on the beautifully prepared main field was a womens division game between home team Japan and Australia. Again Japan were expected to win and they pulled out a 9-4 lead to take half with a game full of control and precision. While Australia came out strong after the break and scored a couple of unanswered points to get to 9-6, that was as close as they got and Japan just pulled away again to take the game 17-10.
The final game on day 1 was played under lights on the main field, and by this time the wind had dropped as well as the temperature -this might have helped the Mixed Team from Finnland a little in their game against the Canadian team, but Canada had this one in the bag from the first point and won 17-2.
Mirroring the mixed result, the other result from day one was the Finnish and Canadian Open game. The Canadians easily took this 17-6, with a commanding second half performance letting the Finns score just once. Tomorrow sees the main tournament kick off with full use of the fields and even the weather seems to be co-operating.
The official website of WUGC 2012 can be found under www.wugc2012.org .