Ultimate Canada Magazine – January 18, 2018
Written by: Rebecca Thompson

The 2018 World Under-24 Ultimate Championships is in the books. After a long week of strong winds, intense heat and close games, the U24 Canadian teams finished strong with results to be proud of.

Mixed: Place, 3rd

The mixed team with their bronze medals. Photo/Nathan Kolakovic

The mixed team entered worlds ranked third overall. Having to battle a tough pool, they prepared themselves for grueling days of competition.

After winning their first game of the competition against Singapore 15-3, day two is where Canada faced their first major test of the tournament as they faced both second ranked Australia and fifth ranked Japan in the same day.

Lana Ramic extends for the score. Photo/Brian Mackenzie

In a rematch of the 2015 semi-final, Canada took on Australia and this time came out on top with a smooth 15-7 win. This win provided them with some confidence as they prepared to play Japan, a team with a very different style to most other countries in the competition. Mixed battled hard and strong against Japan to the end, but came out just shy of a win as they lost on universe point 14-13.

This loss would put them second in their pool, putting them back on the same side of the bracket as the USA for the semi-finals.

Canada went undefeated for the rest of pool play and speedily defeated Colombia in the quarters 15-0.

Come the semi-finals, Canada fought hard and bravely but ultimately fell to the United States 15-7. Having only a couple hours to regroup before playing for third, Canada was able to overcome the loss as they once again faced Australia.

It seemed like nothing could stand in their way of a place on the podium as Canada remained gritty, taking home the bronze medal with a 15-8 win over the home team.

Women: Place, 2nd

The women’s team with their silver medals. Photo/Nathan Kolakovic

The women’s team faced the most grueling schedule out of all the Canadian teams at the tournament.

With 11 teams in the women’s division, the teams were grouped into one large pool where they would play each team once. This meant starting the tournament a day earlier than most other teams and playing a total of 12 games (compared to the 9 the mixed division played) if they made bracket play.

Cindy Truong gets a layout block against Japan. Photo/Brian Mackenzie

On day three for the women, the Canadians faced off against the 2015 reigning champions: Japan. The Japanese style of play is quick and different, and Canada adjusted to it very well. Down 11-12, the women broke twice to win on universe point 13-12.

After commanding wins against Australia and Austria, Canada faced the United States on their fourth day of play. The game proved to be tough and Canada could not readjust to the defensive play of the US, losing 15-7.

In their last pool play game, Canada also fell to Colombia 15-9 but would have a chance at redemption the next day as the faced off against them again in the semi-final. Able to reset from the day before, Canada won their semi-final 15-9 and went off to face the US once again; this time in the final.

In their 12th game of the competition, the Canadian women made Canada’s only appearance in a final this year. The Americans showed up with just a bit more energy than Canada as they took yet another title with a 15-6 victory. The women earned the silver medal after the exhausting competition and can hold their heads up proud of their accomplishment.

Open: Place, 5th

The open team celebrates after getting a break. Photo/Brian Mackenzie

The Canadian open team did not get off to the start they wanted.

Playing Australia first, the team came in flat and could not find their way back as they lost 15-4 to the home country.

Despite that tough loss, the open team came back with a vengeance beating both the Philippines and Germany. Unfortunately, a three-way tie in their pool between Canada, Germany and Australia saw Canada lose out to take third in the pool.

With a harder road now ahead of them, the Canadian men persevered through the lower pools to take on Ireland in the pre-quarters. The feisty Irish team gave Canada a good fight, but the Canadians made a loud statement as they went on to win 15-6 and headed off into a quarter-final against the number one ranked Americans.

In a game that many thought should have been the final, Canada suited up against the USA for a spot in the top four. With the hill filled with fans and players to watch this showdown, the game did not disappoint as both teams played with grit and fire.

The teams traded points before the US got the first break of the game to go up 5-3. Not too long after, the Canadians responded with a break of their own to tie the game up at 9-9. The game ended as the Americans found a second wind breaking a few more times to eventually win the game 15-11.

Cole Keffer skies two Japanese players for the score. Photo/Brian Mackenzie

The open team held their heads high despite the loss as the went on to beat Japan 15-13, and then Great Britain 15-12 to finish in fifth place with a formidable 8-2 record.