CHAMPIONS:They stun US, Canada for inaugural title
ASIAN juggernauts Hong Kong played close to perfect dodgeball to down the favourites United States and Canada to clinch the inaugural World Dodgeball Invitationals (WDI) at Dewan Sri Putra, Bukit Jalil recently.
The tournament, which was played in league format, saw Hong Kong start their campaign with a rousing 9-2 win over the United States in their opening game and followed up with an equally impressive 12-4 win over New Zealand in their second match.
Hosts Malaysia, clearly lacking experience at this level of competition, were no match for Hong Kong in their next match and went down 11-2.
Hong Kong's last game against Canada was a more competitive affair which they nevertheless won 5-3 to seal the title.
Despite their apparently easy win at the tournament, Hong Kong Captain Brian Li said it was a very competitive affair.
"The scores do not really reflect how close the matches were. We are actually quite lucky to win this tournament," said Brian, who is also the Hong Kong Dodgeball Association Sports Commissioner.
"We started well in every match and that gave us the momentum to build a safe lead and hold out for the win.
"At this level of dodgeball, everything is close and if not for us being able to lead right from the start we may not have won against the United States and Canada," added Brian.
Canada took second place while the United States finished third. Malaysia, who racked up two wins against Singapore and New Zealand, finished fourth.
Meanwhile, the women's category saw the United States emerge unbeaten in three matches to edge Hong Kong to the title.
The US opened account with a crucial 7-4 win over Hong Kong and followed up with wins over Malaysia (3-2) and Singapore (8-1) to seal victory.
US captain Nicole Chasin said she was delighted to be able to seal the title in their first ever appearance in Malaysia.
"We came here looking to take the title but knew it would be hard, especially with Hong Kong in the tournament," said Nicole, who was part of the 2010 Arizona Rampage Open Division World Championship winning team.
"We have a lot of experience in our team and thankfully that helped us pull through for the win," she added.
Hong Kong finished second, with their loss to the US being their only defeat, while Malaysia, captained by UCSI's Christina Chia, finished third thanks to a solitary 6-2 win over Singapore.