Sports Journalist Brian Salmon takes a look back at The World Games 2017 and the 10 biggest moments of the Games. A few days ago, we published the first five memories.
The women’s Field Archery final provided another remarkable comeback. Lisa Unruh from Germany knew that she faced an uphill struggle when with just six arrows left to shoot, she was down by a massive four points against Britain's Naomi Folkard. However in the next end, two of her arrows found the bullseye and suddenly the scores were tied. Folkard fired the final arrow of the match knowing that if it landed in the 5 or 6 point zone, the gold medal would end up in British hands. Sadly for her, but adding excitement for the crowd, it was only a 4. In the one arrow shootout, it was the German's shot that landed closest to the centre.
4 Cue sports - Pool
Our next competitor is included to show that if an athlete works hard and puts in long hours of practice to improve, then eventually the dedication will pay off. Filipino Carlo Biado was at one time a journeyman professional Pool player with only a few minor tournament titles to his name. Recently, however, he made the decision to travel to more high-quality tournaments in order to raise his game. His inspired choice led to an appearance in The World Games final against Scotsman Jayson Shaw. Though the European established an early lead, Biado settled into a rhythm, punishing his opponent's errors and efficiently winning the closing frames. The result was a rare gold medal for The Philippines in a global competition.
3 Speed Skating
The volunteers at Wroclaw 2017 were simply magnificent, full of smiles and always willing to help. Their finest moments came during the torrential thunderstorm that hit the host city during The World Games. They dived into the Centennial Hall lake to retrieve pieces of the boules venue that had been blown into the water. There were even greater problems at the Speed Skating track: the wind had blown over the giant video screen and the downpour had left the track seemingly unusable. However a huge team effort saw the ruined screen cleared away and the excess water swept from the track. Remarkably, a few hours later racing resumed at the track, and in the women’s 15,000 m elimination event Fabriana Arias accelerated away from the pack to claim the gold. The Colombian athlete got very used to standing on the podium; she left Wroclaw with a bulging suitcase containing three gold medals, and two silvers for good measure!
2 Rhythmic Gymnastics
All venues at Wroclaw were of a high standard; one in particular was always a joy to visit, and not solely because the building is a UNESCO World Heritage site. No matter which sport was being played there, the action at the Centennial Hall was always spectacular. The Russian twins Arina and Dina Averina charmed the crowds and the Rhythmic Gymnastics judges as they monopolised the podium. Three times Arina just edged her sister to the gold. Dina reached the top step of the podium once, when Arina surprisingly had to settle for the bronze.
Four medals in one edition of The World Games is an amazing achievement, what could possibly top that? My best moment of Wroclaw 2017 came inside the magnificent National Forum of Music, when an athlete powered her way to victory for an incredible fourth time in four successive editions of The World Games. Ukrainian Larysa Soloviova had first won gold at Duisburg 2005, and repeated the feat at the editions in Chinese Taipei (2009) and Colombia (2013). Would time finally catch up with the 39-year-old strongwoman? Her technique was flawless as she smoothly lifted every weight she attempted. The final lift was sufficient to seal her status as a legend of The World Games.