Wednesday, June 4, 2008

China Natty's

I finished sorting through the 450+ photos on my camera from this weekends China National Ultimate Frisbee tournament. I deleted about half of them and came up with one dozen nice shots.

So, overall, I was really impressed with the level of play by the local Chinese teams. There were 250+ players, 14 teams total, and 5 expat teams. My local team, Big Brother, broke into two squads: BB Sexy and BB Ugly. I was on Sexy and we finished the weekend 5-1. We then combined the two squads to make our best team and played an exhibition game against Shanghai Huwa, the other ridiculous ex-pat team. I was selected to play that game and after Big Brother took a dominating half at 6-1, Shanghai woke up. They mounted an impressive 5 point rally to tie it at 6-6, but we pulled out a tough win 7-6. Bragging rights are ours, until we meet again in 3 weeks.

The remaining 9 teams were all Chinese and were allowed to compete for the title. The level of play was really intense and high level. Ultimate is growing fast in China and we had teams and players come from all over China to participate. Here are some random shots from the day.

Lot's of great action.

Jim from BB shows his hops.

I know what actually happened in this picture,
but it's more amusing to just assume there's an
aspect of karate to this Ultimate scene...

Anyway, The finals were between Air Kazak and Tianjin Speed. Air Kazak was the reigning champ, and yes, they are all from Kazakhstan. Borat would be proud. Tianjin Speed is from the nearest big city to Beijing and most players are pretty new to the game. Both teams are incredibly athletic, lightning fast, have quick and precise throws, tenacious d, and no fear of hurting themselves. I didn't get any great pictures of Tianjin, but they played a great game. The final score after sudden death, was 11-10, Air Kazak.

Happy Rat (shown flying above) is the captain of this team. His name in Kazak is actually pronounced Happy Rat, although it's probably spelled Hagh Pirrat or something. Cool dude.

We had a small awards ceremony too, led by Zahlen Titcomb from Five Ultimate. This company was started by 5 siblings and ultimate players from Oregon. If you're in the ultimate scene, you've no doubt heard of this company by now. Anyway, we're pretty fortunate beacuse Zahlen, the oldest of the 5, has been residing in Beijing for a few years now. He donated jerseys for all the Chinese teams and lots of other gear for the tournament. He's a pretty cool dude too

Frisbee is amazing.

1 comment:

joaniebalonie said...

Congrats on the great tournament Baby Brother (ahem) (um) Sexy ;)