Hi everyone, I’m back! I wrote the first couple of these for this tournament, before I was able to palm the job off onto each matches captain, but unfortunately (for you guys) I’m back for the day. It’s OK, someone else will take over tomorrow.

The day kicked off much like all others so far, with the hotel buffet breakfast. After almost a week now, I’ve managed to get it down to a fine art with my preferred picks. The miso grilled salmon, not something I’d normally consider breakfast food, is actually pretty good.

After breakfast we had the standard team meeting. As we were expecting that evenings match (against Chinese Taipei) to be our toughest yet, the meeting was pretty thorough. That being said, nothing really new was raised, and the message was more about backing yourself and enjoying the experience, which I think we all took on board well.

An obligatory stretching session was up next, where I like to think I out performed expectations by managing to touch my toes in various poses, despite not being known as the most flexible team member. Sometimes, my knee was even straight when I was reaching my toes. After that, it was time for Bethan’s equal favourite time of day, lunch.

The last few days we’ve headed out more or less as a team to find grub for lunch, but with a forecast high of 34 degrees, Nik’s instagram filters showing a temperature of 37, and the boys helping out with the laundry returning lathered in sweat, most of us decided to stay in and polish off some of our supermarket supplies. Not heading out also meant there was more time to re-watch episodes of Brooklyn Nine Nine, which is always a good decision. Josh B falling asleep and falling prey to Emily’s new-found habit of painting the toes of unsuspecting victims was the sign we all needed to head off and get some more rest before the big game that evening.

Once we got to the stadium, we were able to watch the first half of the Korea-Philippines match before heading into the preparation area. Once there, the message was the same as in the morning: back yourself, have fun, and enjoy the chance to test yourself against some of the best in the world. As we then started warm-ups, I continued the streak of all our captains so far this tournament, by losing the toss. Given that essentially my only job was to win it, I think that might be the end of my captaincy aspirations.

The match started fast, and Chinese Taipei came out shooting well in the first quarter, which is always tough to counter. However, we quickly picked up the pace of the game, and over the next three quarters we showed what we were capable of, creating opportunities and scoring goals against a tough opponent. Despite going down, which in reality was always the expected result, I think we all acquitted ourselves well, and hopefully learnt a lot about what we’re capable of, and that should hold us in good stead for the big matches still to come this tournament.

Following the match, we all just had time to grab dinner before the local restaurants closed, before hitting the sack for some well deserved shut eye.

That’s all from me, as we look forward to playing the Philippines tomorrow, and the business end of the tournament which follows.