We Have New Champions! Last years losing finalists go one better to win their 1st title. Rocher, Leboursicaud, Loy and Hureau with a record of P12, W12 and an average of only 3.3 points conceded were outstanding.
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The champions receiving their medals from retiring FIPJP President Henri Bernard are L. to R. Damien Hureau, Bruno Leboursicaud, Bruno Rocher and Michel Loy.
By David Baxter
While the Champions were very worthy winners the tournament this year seemed a little flat. For some reason there didn't seem to be very many close and exciting matches and this feeling is born out by a detailed analysis of the results. In the main there were 235 matches and in 60% of these the losers scored 5 points or less, only 23% of the matches where the losers scored 9 or more could be considered competitive. It wasn't very different in the Coupe de Nations where the figures were 49% scoring 5 or less and 26% scoring 9 or more.
Quarter Final Analysis - 6 of the Best
Only 6 countries have won through to the Quater Final on at least 4 occassions in the last 6 years. They are France, Madagascar and Tunisia with 6/6, Belgium with 5/6 and Morroco and Spain with 4/6. In keeping with this consistency these 6 countries also account for 16/18 podium spots during the last 6 years and underlines the importance of experience and tradition. The good news for the rest is that there is a chance of getting one of the two 'open' places each year. This openess is shown by the fact that 9 countries have been represented in the 12 spots avaliabe in the last 6 years. Recently, (2003) the honour went to Thailand and Switzerland and this year another solid performance by Switzerland and an inspired one by Cambodia saw them reach that elusive Quarter Final. Perhaps the most exciting development was the emergence of the young Cambodian team who went on to a podium finish, third equal, taking some notable scalps (Tunisia 13-0 in the semifinal) on the way.
The general organisation was very good with rounds starting on time but again no freedom of movement for spectators, so little opportunity for generating atmosphere by getting close to your team. When will organisers learn that they should allow more movement of spectators in the first two days? We are the real fans and we all want to move to where our team is playing during the pool stages. Also the security on the East entrance kept stopping Martin Eggleton and refusing to let him take in his camera but there were no such restrictions on the West entrance!!
A reflective Philippe Quintais not required during the match against Ireland. Maybe already thinking that the 9th title would elude him this time?
The original story is on the BPA-southeast site
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