CIJB World Team Championships, Colombia – Round Up
Wow. What a spectacular event! Every 3 years the CIJB lay on the World Team Championships and this year it was in Pasto, Colombia. There are 4 different sports that players compete in over a week and one of them is Wallball. Many of our European Players travelled over as part of team squads to take on the Wallball element and play against some of the best players in the world, especially those from South America. The organization of the event, as a whole, was excellent; though without Team GBR taking on the lion’s share of refereeing duties the tournament may well have been in trouble. We are in discussions with the CIJB to help improve the next tournament by utilizing some of the skillset of the tour to ensure courts, refereeing and fair play are up to scratch.
From Europe teams from Great Britain, Spain, France, Italy, Basque Country, Belgium & Holland competed against Paraguay, Uruguay, Ecuador, Mexico, Chile, Venezuela, Argentina and of course, Colombia.
The women played a singles and a doubles tournament. The men only played doubles.
- The Basques dominate the women’s events with Patricia Espinar winning the singles over Marrit Zeinstra from Holland. She then teamed up with Amaia Araiztegi to win the doubles over a strong Mexican team. Both finals were spectacular to watch and a real testament to the women’s game, with some of the finest quality of women’s wallball we’ve been lucky enough to see.
- The Men’s tournament was completely dominated by Mexico, who had among their party, “El Matador” – a player easily in the top 5 in the world. His power and accuracy was something special to behold and it is easy to see how he managed to beat Timbo Gonzalez a few weeks ago. Teaming up with Isaac they powered through the likes of Grant & Thomson and Kruithoff & Bueno, finally taking on Belgium Open veterans Astorga & Rodriguez from Argentina in a final which was rather one-sided. Notable mention must go to Metayer and Wattier from Belgium, who made it through to the semis, losing to Argentina. The duo overcame nerves in several tight matches to make it all the way to a splendid 4th place, behind Spain’s third.
It is great to see so many of the players from European Tour competing at the very highest level and doing so well. We look forward to the CIJB European Championships in August, which will be held in Holland.