2016-06-06 19:37:00 CEST
Double-edged drama in Major Series opener
First things, first: welcome to Hamburg. Yes, we’re typing these words in the media center at the Am Rothenbaum. We’re here and we’re ready to kick-start this Major Series summer with a bang. The wait is almost over.
If you’ve been paying attention to our website since we had the pleasure of unveiling the smart Major Hamburg, you will know that this week’s tournament will be the last to count towards Olympic qualification.
And that’s a pretty big deal.
So, ‘what are the permutations?!’ we hear you hollering, desperately, from the rooftops.
Well, it’s almost as complicated as qualifying for the Olympics itself (see here for our Dummies guide) so here’s our guide to who needs what here in Hamburg…
Let’s take the men’s tournament for starters shall we? Mexicans Lombardo Ontiveros and Juan Virgin and Josh Binstock and Sam Schachter are two sides currently on the ‘wrong’ side of the dotted qualification line.
As it stands the Ontiveros/Virgin can only overtake five teams above them in the standings with a gold medal – unless those partnerships don’t wipe out their 12th worst result. For Binstock/Schachter, a gold medal here would only be able to lift them above the 14th and 15th placed teams – both German duos Markus Böckermann/Lars Flüggen and Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik.
Yet the complications don’t end there – oh no. With the two Germans sides on the precipice, the Mexicans can finish fifth and the Canadians third and qualify only if the Germans don’t finish 17th or higher…
If the Germans finish ninth Ontiveros/Virgin would need to clinch fourth spot, while the Canadians would require a silver medal around their necks.
A fifth-place finish for both German teams would mean the Mexicans would need a silver medal…but that would eliminate Binstock and Schachter. However, if the Germans reach the semis the Mexicans would need gold… but if the Germans win a bronze the Olympic dream (for now) for Ontiveros/Virgin would be over.
And breathe. That’s that sorted.
Ha…you thought we were finished, didn’t you?
Because it’s just as complicated in the women’s half of the draw with three teams on the cusp of qualification aiming to break into the top 15 this week!
Russia’s Ekaterina Birlova and Evgeniya Ukolova, Linline Matatuatu and Miller Pata of Vanuatu and Finnish stars Taru Lahti and Riikka Lehtonen are three teams preying on three duos above them in the rankings.
Those teams, namely Lauren Fendrick/Brooke Sweat (USA), Fan Wang/Yuan Yue (CHN), Ana Gallay/Georgina Klug (ARG), therefore need to be on their game to fend off the ‘outsiders’ challenge.
If the three duos do not finish in the top 17 the Russians would need to finish fifth, the Vanuatuans would need to finish fourth while the Finnish side would need to win bronze.
Are you following? So if the Americans, Chinese and Argentinians finish ninth then Birlova/Ukolova, Matatuatu/Pata and Lahti/Lehtonen would need fourth, third and second respectively. The US would be out.
(Only a few more permutations, honest)
If it’s fifth for the three teams in control of a position, then Miller/Pata need a silver, the Russians need a bronze but the Finns would be out.
So…if the American, Chinese and Argentinians pairs all reach the semifinals then only the Russians could still break through – but only if they come second. And then if Gallay/Klug win bronze then Birlova/Ukolova would need gold.
Got it? Read this a few times and we’re sure you’ll know it by my heart. We won’t test you.
It’s best to just sit back and watch the drama unfold. The main draw here starts on Wednesday!