Saturday, August 16, 2014

WSDC 2014: Title Goes to England, Indonesia Debater Best EFL Speaker

WSDC 2014 Champion - England
#3 England (Will Cook, Eleanor Shearer, Sam Feinburg, Louis Collier) won the 2014 World Schools Debating Championships in Bangkok, giving their country its fourth title from the most prestigious high school debate competition on the planet. Team Indonesia came home with the best EFL speaker award after an astonishing performance by a Banten high school debating star.

In the final that had England oppose the motion 'This House Believes That an ASEAN Political Union is an Impossible Dream', the eventual champion dashed the hope of  #1 South Africa (Saadiyah Mayet, Kate Dewey, Josh Broomberg, Rachel Gardiner, Samuel Musker) to become the first champion from the continent of Africa. England's Will Cook took home the best speaker award.

WSDC 2014 turned out to be a tournament of surprises. The teams that debated in the WSDC 2012 final, Scotland and Wales, failed to advance. In the top 16, there were 6 Asian teams - Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Pakistan, Singapore and the Philippines. Indonesia, which had never broken in the last decade, advanced with 6 wins, the most ever scored by a team from the country. China broke for the first time ever. South Africa, which has never won WSDC, topped the preliminary tab with 8 wins and 23 judge points, short one ballot from perfect. They continued to convince all judges in knockout rounds before the final. Triumphant England stopped that incredible run after a 7-2 split decision.  

#9 Peru ranked as the Best English-as-Second-Language Team with Nishant Selvalingam from Malaysia topping the ESL speaker list. #10 Netherlands exited the tournament as the Best English-as-Foreign-Language Team with SMA 2 Tangerang Selatan Regina Cara Riantoputra snatching the top EFL speaker title. She is the first Indonesian to officially win that title. Last year, another Indonesian debater was announced to get that award but the organizers had to give it to another speaker after the eventual winner's language status was corrected. The next tournament will take place in Singapore, the only Asian country with a WSDC title. 

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