So today brings the announcement of some really good news…but more on that later J The last leg of our five week overseas tour took us to Changshu, China for the World League Super Finals. This is the last competition before the Olympics so teams were there to make a stand (or so we thought). It appears that there were three categories of teams – teams who are in a rebuilding phase, as they didn’t qualify for the Olympics, teams who are playing funny buggers by sending junior teams as they want to keep their Olympic campaign a secret, and teams who were there to win. We met an array of these teams, made apparent by the score lines.
We topped our pool by beating Canada, Italy and Russia 20-4, 12-3 and 9-7 respectively. This saw us cross over to Germany where we had a near perfect game winning 18-0. I unfortunately strained a muscle in this game so was rested for the semi-final against China. This was very nerve racking (it always is more so from the sidelines), especially since we were trailing 4-0 early in the 2nd quarter. The troops rallied and blasted through the 2nd half, recording an 8-7 victory.
I was cleared to play in the grand final against the USA which was great, but unfortunately our performance was not so great. We could not buy a goal, which is a credit to the USA defence, but definitely a wake up call for us for the big event in two months time. We lost to the USA 6-4. Directly after the medal ceremony we jumped on the bus, travelled the two hours to Shanghai to catch our planes home. The next couple of days was a nervous wait, as we were to get the phone calls to advise us if we were in the OLYMPIC TEAM…and I got an excellent phone call!! It happened to be on my birthday so it was that much more sweet.
So there were a couple of celebrations, some tears and a lot of relief, but no rest for the wicked - we are now back in Canberra for our last training camp in Australia before the Olympics.
Until next time
Jane (the Olympian - first time I’ve been able to say that J)