... that the Swedish top contenders fought a 1-point battle for the trip to Germany?
posted Jun 20th, 2006 -
There was a lot of great competition last weekend, and it is difficult to cover all the details with a few words. However, one of the most important events took place in Sweden. The NSL News had already covered the situation before last weekend's competition with the meet story of the previous event in Sweden on June 9.
The article mentioned that last weekend's competition would be the main factor for the selection of the Swedish national 4-way team at the World Meet 2006 in Germany. The two teams contending for this slot, Team Spaï and Team 42, knew that the pressure would be on with full power.
The Swedish association, which already registered Sweden for the 4-way event in Germany months ago, even increased the pressure on both teams by making it an official 10-round showdown last weekend, only for these two teams, while the rest of the field was finished after the usual six rounds.
Team Spaï and Team 42 were surely looking at each other's scores throughout the whole competition, and it turned out to be an incredible race. Team Spaï came out of the gates much stronger than its direct opponent and might have benefitted from attending the previous competition in Sweden on June 3rd, just two weeks ago.
It must have looked almost hopeless for Team 42 when the reigning Swedish 4-way champion was five points behind after the first three rounds. However, Mattias Pålsson, Joar Stenkvist, Jens Thögersen and Andreas Wittbom, with Fredrik Johnsson on camera, did not give up and were rewarded with an encouraging highscore in round four, which cut the deficit to four points.
Round five had Team 42 on top of this round's scores again, and the lead for Team Spaï was down to three points. Now it was time for the challenger's line-up with Tobias Alsiö (Center Outside), Mikael Kaulanen (Point), Ulf Liljenbäck (Center Inside), Mats Svensson (Tail) and Daniel Åström (Camera) to prove strong nerves.
And they did. Team Spaï recovered, both teams tied each other's scores for the next three rounds, and Team 42 was still down by three points going into round nine. That's when the former Swedish champion made another move and won this important round even by two points. It was down to a 1-point race before round ten, and the momentum was obviously on 42's side.
Once again, Team Spaï showed strong nerves at the right time and was able to carry the 1-point lead through round ten, with both teams posting 12-pointers. The strong start into the competition won the first place for Team Spaï by one single point, and the Swedish association will now have to make the decision which team will travel to Germany.
The 10-round meet had two different halves. Team Spaï won the first five rounds (71 - 68), and Team 42 had the stronger second half of the meet (65 - 63). Both teams won three rounds each and tied the other four rounds. Obviously, both teams perform almost exactly on the same scoring level, and it is a tough call for Sweden to decide who will represent the country at the World Meet 2006.
Sweden has another competition scheduled for July 1, and the NSL News does not know whether the scores and positions of this July meet will also be considered for the decision. Fact is that Team Spaï won last weekend's official showdown by one point. The NSL News will follow up with more informaton after the official selection of the Swedish national team will be made.