The heat has been bearing down in Royan, with day four now coming to a close. The Mixed and Women’s pools have finally concluded, joining the Men’s Master’s division in entering the exciting stage of the draw. They have all thrown up some interesting results at the first time of asking. The Men’s division has also finished the pool stages, while the other divisions go on as pools for a couple more days.
Ok, here’s your recap of the Mixed division in two games. The Philippines beat USA 9-8, after being 2-8 down. Yes, you read that right. They got seven points in a row to give USA Mixed a second loss in the tournament. And yes, it’s on fanseat.com for your entertainment. It may be scant consolation for the USA team that the other team that beat them (Sweden) also lost, and their game actually mattered in terms of reaching the knockout stages. Sweden were defeated by India (9-8) in a game which sees India enter the top 16, and be rewarded with a pre-quater game vs France.
The other games are Germany vs Netherlands, Great Britain vs Italy, USA vs Ireland, Spain vs Russia, Philippines vs Ukraine, Portugal vs Switzerland, Czech Republic vs Canada. We’re in for a treat.
The pools finally ended in the Men’s division. In pool A: Canada beat Russia 11-10, USA beat Spain 13-12, but all four found their way into the quarter-finals tomorrow. Netherlands and Ukraine are the two teams that lost out from those that looked like they had a chance yesterday. Check out our report on a great Russia vs Ukraine game here.
In pool B: Philippines completed their destruction of everyone in the group. France saw off their remaining games fairly comfortably in order to take second. With those places set, Belgium, Australia and Great Britain found themselves in a scrap for the two remaining slots. Belgium beat Australia (11-10), but also need to beat GBR in their final game, which they couldn’t manage. GBR won 10-9, and the WCBU 2015 silver medallists find themselves in the top eight.
Tomorrow’s quarters: USA vs Australia, Russia vs France, GBR vs Canada, Spain vs Philippines.
Pool A: USA beat Spain (12-7) and Canada beat Denmark (13-8), so the pool finished USA – Spain – Canada – Denmark. The top two teams have gone into one power pool (with the top teams from the other pool), while third and fourth place have gone into a second. Our reporter Charlie Blair was on the sideline, and she has the lowdown on the USA vs Spain game here.
Pool B: Russia and Great Britain won their games as expected to take top two in the group (Russia have gone unbeaten). There was a three-way tie for the next two places as France suffered an unexpected loss to Germany, and Latvia pulled off an upset win vs Switzerland. The results saw France and Latvia through, with France carrying a 9-6 win vs Latvia.
Upper Power Pool: USA beat GBR, and Russia beat Spain, setting up a potential preview tomorrow of the final, given how dominant these two unbeaten teams have been so far. GBR and Spain will battle it out for third and fourth.
Second Power Pool: Canada and France won their games as expected, and will battle for the easier cross. Latvia and Denmark have astonished everyone so far by making the top eight, they will fight hard to win their crossovers when they come up tomorrow. Read more about Latvia here.
Play continues in the giant Mixed Masters pool, with some players already complaining of fatigue and injury. Tomorrow will be the final day of games before entering knockout brackets of four. USA and France are comfortably safe at the top (and USA comfortably at the top, after beating France 13-3). A Canada victory against current fourth place Germany probably makes them fairly safe too. Germany and Spain currently sit on six wins each. Great Britain are only one win behind, and play Germany tomorrow. With that in mind, Spain have to be the current favourites to clinch that last spot (even with a loss vs Germany earlier in the week putting them down in a head-to-head).
While some of the younger players have been messing around in pool stages, the Men’s Masters teams finished one pool stage yesterday and another one today. Here’s what happened in the two upper power pools.
Upper Pool A: The story of this pool is not USA beating everyone. It’s GBR losing both their power pool games, and still finishing second by the power of a three-way tie. If Australia had beaten GB by one more point (it was 11-10), they’d be sitting second instead. Given that GBR were 9-6 up, and the Aussies brought it back to 10-9 (game to 11), they must be kicking themselves at the missed opportunity.
Upper Pool B: France comfortably beat Canada (11-6) to take top in the pool, and Spain dispatched Netherland (13-9) to avoid a pre-quarter down, and guarantee a place in the top eight. The French team has lost to the USA in the pools, but other than that remain unbeaten.
Pre-quarters: No upsets, although Germany tried hard, falling just short in losing 10-11 to Czech Republic. Netherlands beat India 11-8 to prevent a second Indian upset victory of the day. Both India and Germany are now fighting for a place in the top 10.
Tomorrow’s Quarters: USA vs Netherlands, Canada vs Australia, France vs Czech Republic, Great Britain vs Spain.
Similarly to Mixed Masters, there are two games left, and the giant pool of twelve will split into knockout brackets of four. USA are unbeaten while Canada and Australia sit on one loss each, and all guaranteed a place in the top four. Great Britain lie in fourth spot, but one of their final games will be against Australia. Sweden and Spain lie just behind. They play each other though, and Sweden will then face the USA. There is a lot to play for, and difficult games lie ahead for a number of the teams. GBR have beaten both Sweden and Spain already (13-6 and 13-7), so they must be favourites going forward. One win will see them through.
There are two more games left in the ten-team pool, and again, we’re looking at who will end up as the top four teams. USA are unbeaten, and Finland and Great Britain have one loss each. However, Great Britain’s final two games are Finland and, you guessed it, the USA. Canada and France only have two losses, but they also play each other tomorrow. Canada beat GBR (12-11) and but the British beat France 8-12, so GBR will really be hoping for a France win against Canada to create a favourable three-way tie.
By Harry Mason.