Today was a rest day for us, as the top half of the draw were playing their semi-finals. As the tournament has contracted to one playing venue, only half the games are played on any one day, ensuring all teams are as fresh as possible for the final matches. This is one of my last blog posts, because as of tomorrow at about 7:30PM local time, our tournament, for better or for worse, will be done.
Today was extraordinarily quiet, and as such, this is going to be a boring update, I apologise. Tomorrow’s post should be far more entertaining. The morning started off with Phil and I taking the teams washing to the laundromat, for the last few things that needed to be clean for tomorrow. The walk to the laundromat is pleasant, and not too long, which is a good thing when you are carrying shopping bags full of washing. The laundromat itself was stinking hot, and I was grateful when the loads were done, and we could get outside again.
After the washing, a few of the team went down to the pool, for a recovery session after last nights match. Once again, I felt amazing getting out of the water, with significantly less aches and pains that I had going into the water. If I had the room (and a house of my own) I would be getting a pool put in just for this purpose. The last two recovery sessions have enabled me to feel as close to 100% as possible, which simply would not have happened without them.
We then headed off to the Lotto Arena to watch some of the semi-final round matches. We arrived just in time to watch the Catalonia – China match, which was convincingly won by Catalonia. Following this match was Chinese Taipei – Netherlands, which was won even more convincingly by the Netherlands. Disappointingly, both matches were not of great entertainment standard. Catalonia ran rings around China with crisp ball movement, and China’s shooting was below what we have seen them do. Taipei appeared to rest some of their players for the final round, and as such, the Netherlands were never really challenged at all, and were able to score almost at will. I feel that all 4 teams already had one eye on the final round, and were assuming the results today were pre-ordained, which, as a spectator, was somewhat disappointing. However, that will not happen any more this tournament, as all remaining matches are for final positions, and noone has anything to lose.
This is also the case for our game tomorrow. We play Hong Kong for the second time in three matches, with World Games qualification is on the line, as well as our final ranking. This is all that we have left in front of us, and we are going to give it everything we have got, as I’m sure Hong Kong will too. Make sure you tune in to watch, as the support we have been getting from all corners of the globe really does encourage us. For all details, the match info is available on the National Teams page, which includes live streams for tomorrow. For everything else, remember to keep checking the Facebook page to keep up to date.