Brazil’s record attempt beached
The beach handball podiums had an unfamiliar look as for the first time ever at The World Games, Brazil failed to claim gold in either of the two competitions. Beach Handball for both men and women has featured at the last two editions, and up to now the Brazilian anthem is the only one that has ever been heard at the venues. Congratulations to Croatia’s men and Germany’s women for ending that run. As for Brazil, it is back to the beach to practise, the only consolation is they have lots of beaches to choose from.
We shall not be moved
Brazil may have failed to defend their crowns as champions of The World Games, but there were no such problems for the Chinese Taipei women, who once again dominated the women's tug of war event. Since a women’s competition was introduced to The World Games at the Akita edition in 2001, Chinese Taipei has won every final. Their latest gold in Birmingham, which was their sixth consecutive time to top the medal podium, was achieved in typical fashion: amazing teamwork and determination saw them not lose a single pull. James Kehoe, the legendary Irish puller, admires the Chinese Taipei coaching system greatly.
“They form a new team every time, they recruit college students, but always do a magnificent job in training them and making them into a team.”
Flying on auto pilot
The United States have the gold medals to prove they are the best team on the planet at Flying Disc. Canada won the inaugural tournament in Akita, but since then it has been Stars and Stripes all the way as they powered their way to victory in the last four tournaments. Australia was the latest team to try and displace the Americans from their customary podium position. It was an exciting tight-fought game, but a couple of lost possessions at the death allowed the host nation to once again rule the world.
Stars of David
The Ukrainian team has had a memorable time in Birmingham, with many American fans adopting them as their second team, and the war-afflicted nation has achieved considerable medal success particularly in the martial arts sports. Another team which has boosted its medal tally through its strength in these sports is Israel. They were regular podium visitors in the Ju-Jitsu competitions, winning seven medals in total. Star performer was Meshy Rosenfeld, a double champion in both the 57kg and Open categories. The 13 medals gained so far for Israel makes it by far the most successful edition of The World Games for the Middle Eastern nation.
Brian Salmon for The World Games
The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the International World Games Association, organised with the support of the International Olympic Committee. The 11th edition of The World Games is held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 7-17 July 2022. 3,600 athletes from 34 sports and over 100 countries take part in The World Games.