Saturday, August 16, 2014

WSDC 2014: Team Indonesia Return with Awesome Accolades, New Records

WSDC 2014 Best EFL Speaker Regina Cara with Thai host  
#11 Indonesia came out of the 2014 World Schools Debating Championship  in Thailand with a trail of new national records and Regina Cara Riantoputra snatching the top EFL speaker title. The SMA 2 Tangerang Selatan debater, who has been winning awards for her school for years, was the team's star as she debated in all matches in WSDC Bangkok, making her presence widely known in the world's top high school debating event.

The 2014 team now hold almost all pf the Indonesian WSDC records, some without match. They are the Indonesian team with the most wins ever. The 2014 team won 6 out of 8 mandatory WSDC rounds, enabling Indonesia to break into the octofinal for the first time since 2004. They matched a 10-year record of breaking into the WSDC knockouts set by the 2003 and 2004 teams, which were made up by almost the same debaters.  Moreover, they bested the score of the 2003 and 2004 teams that also reached the octofinal but both 'only' had 5 preliminary wins. The 2014 team equaled the 2003's record #11 position. Only 16 teams can advance into the WSDC knockouts.

Reaching the quarterfinal stage is still an elusive feat for Team Indonesia. In the recent tournament's octofinal, WSDC 2013 champion Australia stopped Team Indonesia's amazing journey that included wins over Greece, Sweden, Romania Turkey, Estonia and 2012 finalist Wales. 

Cara, however, reached a place where no Indonesian has gone before. She entered the elite Top 20 club after she ranked 17th on the overall speaker list. That club is usually populated by debaters from countries that have won WSDC before. This year, only Cara and a Malaysian debater who broke into the party. She is now the Indonesian WSDC debater with the highest rank so far. Her team mate John Amadeo Daniswara from Raffles International School Jakarta also slipped into the Top 50 main speaker list and ended at #39. This is the first time two Indonesian speakers could enter that honourable group in the same year.

Individually, only two Indonesians had made it into the Top 50 list before WSDC 2014. Siti Astrid Kusumawardhani was the first one when she was ranked 49th in 2003. Two years later in WSDC Calgary, her sister Siti Soraya Cassandra ranked five notches higher at #44. Cara and John broke that record in Bangkok. Cara also became the first Indonesian to top the EFL speaker list with team mate Alif Azadi from SMA Modal Bangsa Aceh coming at 6th on that list. John could not enter the EFL list due to his international school background but ranked 6th on the English-as-Second-Language speaker list. The only record that still stands is Cassandra's speaker score of 72.47, which is only 0.1 higher than Cara's.           

The other members of Team Indonesia in WSDC 2014 were Marsa Harisa from SMA 9 Yogyakarta and Kevin Bonaparte from SMA 17 Makassar. Although they debated less than the previous trio, the duo played a vital role in the construction of the cases. All members of the team, which range from 3 to 5 debaters, can be involved in casebuilding although only three are allowed to debate in one match. Coaches have the chance to rotate the debating lineup throughout the tournament. This year's coaches were Australs 2011 ESL champions Subarkah Syafruddin and Riza Aryani, who have graduated from Universitas Indonesia. 

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