Thursday, January 3, 2013

WUDC 2013: Cinderella Teams Slay Favourites in QF

It wouldn't be Worlds if it had no surprises. In one of the quarterfinals, two lower-ranked teams sent favourites out of the 2013 World Universities Debating Championships. #48 Monash University B (James Beavis & Nita Rao), the last team to qualify into the knockouts, and #24 University of Otago A (Alec Dawson & Kieran Bunn), which come from a school that has never broken in WUDC before, defeated #1 University of London Union A (Pam Cohn & Catherine Murphy) and #8 Monash A (Chris Bisset & Madeline Schultz), who all have broken more than once.

Monash B's success would never be possible if the WUDC council had not expanded the break list from 32 to 48 at the start of the Berlin event. They are now the only under-32 team still standing at the moment. Less surprisingly, powerhouse University of Sydney will have 2 teams in the semifinals, both the highest ranked in their respective matches, opening the possibility of taking half of the spots in the final. A half-Sydney final has been done a few times before; last in 2001.

One of the teams that Sydney B eliminated was #15 International Islamic University, the last Asian team in the open competition. Besides IIU, National University of Singapore also broke into the main out rounds but their journey ended in the octofinal.

Here are the semifinal match ups:

SF 1: #5 Sydney A vs #12 St. Andrews A vs #24 Otago A vs #48 Monash B
SF 2: #2 Sydney B vs #6 Auckland B vs #10 Melbourne A vs #19 Oxford B

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