United States Reclaims Gold at 2018 IQA World Cup in Florence
- Published: 28 July 2018
- Written by Andy Marmer
Two years ago, entering the 2016 IQA World Cup, almost no one predicted that the then-unbeaten US National Team could possibly lose a game. However, after dropping the 2016 finals to Australia 150*-130, the United States entered the 2018 IQA World Cup with a single goal: redemption. After avenging their 2016 loss in both group play and the quarterfinals, knocking out 2017 European champions Team UK in the semifinals and finally defeating an upstart Belgium squad 120*-70 in the finals, Team USA has accomplished their ultimate aim. After competing against 28 other teams in Florence, Italy, the U.S. reclaimed their title as champions.
“It means the world; it means absolutely the world to us,” said USA seeker Harry Greenhouse in an interview with Reuters. “Last time we came out here, when we lost, it killed us, it broke us, and we knew we had to come back; we had to come back faster and stronger and harder than ever and that’s what we did.”
Although the US jumped to an early lead, scoring the first three goals within three minutes and forcing a Belgium timeout, the Gryffins never fell out of snitch range, cutting the deficit to 40-30, 50-40 and 60-50 at various times. With Belgium having subbed out star beater Louis Lermytte at the 10 minute mark, trailing 50-30, the US extended its lead to 80-50, leading to Lermytte, also a star-seeker, to be subbed back in as beater. Although Belgium scored an additional goal before the end of the seeker floor, Harry Greenhouse on just his second attempt, prior to Belgium making a single attempt on snitch, caught snitch runner Alex Greenhalgh in just over 30 seconds.
The USA’s win was its first snitch range game of bracket play, having entered as the third seed and defeating Austria 180-60*, Australia 100*-30 and the UK 160*-40. The grand final match was Belgium’s only loss during the tournament. Belgium had entered the bracket as the fourth seed and overcame Poland 150*-40, France 170**-140°°, and third-place Turkey 110*-60 in the semifinals. The tournament capped a historic improvement from Belgium, who just four years ago at the 2014 iteration forfeited due to insufficient players and just two years ago were eliminated 130*-50 by the US in the quarterfinals. Belgium in its loss became the first European team to hold the United States within snitch range.
In the third place game, Turkey earned its first time on the podium, defeating 2016 bronze-winners Team UK 110*-60, knocking the UK off the podium for the first time since 2014. For Turkey, despite numerous national successes in club level tournaments, the bronze at World Cup was the first time the national team finished in the top three of an international tournament.
Germany entered bracket play as the top seed, with the UK as the second seed, after each went undefeated in group play.
The tournament began on Wednesday the 27th of June with Australia defeating Italy 120*-40 in an exhibition played in the historic Piazza di Santa Croce. The tournament matches were held over the weekend of the 30th of June and 1st of July.
The tournament featured 29 teams from five continents with Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Catalonia, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Vietnam. For eight teams this was their first appearance at a World Cup..
* caught the snitch
** caught the snitch twice, once in overtime
°° did not catch the snitch during the initial match time, nor during overtime
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About the International Quidditch Association
The International Quidditch Association (IQA) is the international governing body for quidditch, and supports quidditch development and competition worldwide. We promote gender equity and an inclusive athletic environment at all levels, and develop the sport worldwide. The positive impact of physical activity on health, self-confidence, and well-being for all genders has been proven time and again. Through quidditch, traditionally less active groups such as women, transgender individuals, and those who quit competitive sports are provided with a safe and encouraging sports environment.
Finally, the International Quidditch Association develops and empowers future leaders. We inspire young people to lead physically active and socially engaged lives and work to support our volunteers and the volunteers within national governing bodies to grow their skills and hold leadership roles. Many of our leaders are in their twenties and may not have similar opportunities in other domains, but quidditch is still developing and that leads to amazing opportunities for quidditch volunteers around the world.