By WVUA 23 News Contributor Chandra Clark
On Friday, July 15, WVUA 23 contributor and University of Alabama Assistant Professor Chandra Clark visited six different venues in Birmingham that host athletes competing in the World Games July 7-17.
Clark taught a course called “Covering The World Games” in the spring of 2022, and several students in his class and others from the University of Alabama’s College of Communication and Information Sciences are working locally with International Sports Broadcasting in production, ticketing and management support at the 15 different venues.
The class created 30 virtual tours showcasing the 34 multi-sport sports, venues and areas surrounding Birmingham venues.
The gallery above is a snapshot of seven different sports and world-class athletes who have traveled from 100 different countries to Birmingham to compete for a gold, silver or bronze medal.
The World Games are an international sporting event held every four years in the year following the Summer Olympics. It takes place over 11 days and consists of 34 sports with 48 disciplines and 223 medals. The event in Birmingham was originally scheduled for 2021 but postponed due to the pandemic. This marks the 40e anniversary of the World Games, making it the first edition of the event to be held in the United States since the inaugural games in Santa Clara, California in 1981.
Location #1: Sloss Ovens
Trend Sport – Sport Climbing: Boulder
Photos: Boulder Qualifying Round
Gold – Nicolas Collin (Belgium)
Silver – Kokoro Fujii (Japan)
Bronze – Yoshiuki Ogata (Japan)
Sport climbing is a form of rock climbing that takes place on artificial structures. There are 3 featured disciplines at the World Games: Lead, Speed and Boulder. In Boulder, competitors climb artificial rock faces called boulders without using ropes or harnesses. Different holds bolted to the wall create “problems” for the climber when navigating the climb. Steep overhanging surfaces require the climber to perform highly technical movements while associating much of their weight with their upper body strength. Out of 11 competitors who competed on Friday morning, six qualified for the final on Friday afternoon where Nicolas Collin (Belgium), Kokoro Fujii (Japan) and Yoshiuki Ogata (Japan) respectively won the gold, silver and bronze.
Location #2: UAB Recreation Center
Ball sport – Squash
Photos: Men’s quarter-finals – Switzerland v Germany; France against Canada
Medal Rounds: Sunday, July 17
Squash is a racquet sport played with a hollow rubber ball. After a player has served, the players take turns hitting the ball against the front wall. The ball can hit the side or back walls at any time, as long as it hits below the outline. He must not touch the ground after touching the racket. After the ball hits the front wall, it is allowed to bounce once on the floor (and any number of times against the side or back walls) before a player must return it. A match is the best of five games. In the photos shown, Switzerland’s Dimitri Steinmann beat Germany’s Raphael Kandra 2-0 to advance to the semi-finals. Frenchman Grégoire Marche also qualified for the semi-final after a 2-0 win over Canadian David Baillargeon. Steinmann and March play at 5 p.m., Saturday, July 16e to see who is stepping up for a medal to be awarded on Sunday, July 17.
Location #3: John Carroll High School – Homewood
Trend Sport – Flying disc
Photos: Semi-finals – Japan vs Great Britain
Round of medalists:
Gold – Australia vs. USA 6 p.m., Saturday, July 16e
Bronze – Germany c. Colombia 4 p.m., Saturday, July 16
At the World Games, the Flying Disc One includes a discipline which is the Ultimate. It is a non-contact, self-refereeing team sport played with a flying disc. Two teams of seven players compete on a playing field about the same length as a football field but the playing field is narrower. Each team defends an end zone and a score (goal) is scored if a player catches a disc in the opposite end zone. A team may advance the disc towards the opposing end zone with any number of passes, including a long throw towards the end zone. In this match, Japan won 13-11.
Location #4: Oak Mountain State Park
Trending sport: water skiing and wakeboarding
Photos: preliminary round – men’s jump; Final Round – Women’s Slalom
Gold – Regina Jaquess (USA)
Silver – Jaimee Bull (Canada)
Bronze – Geena Krueger (Germany)
Water skiing has three different categories: Slalom, Trick and Jump. While the speed of the boat is fixed in slalom, the length of the rope is not and it is shortened after each successful pass. Skiers use a ski to navigate around a course of six buoys to complete the pass. The skier who successfully rounds the most buoys with the shortest rope wins. In jumping, the skier who travels the longest calculated distance and still lands on both skis to get away wins.
American Taylor Garcia qualified for the final round with only his first two out of three jumps. After soaring 61.2 and 62.7 meters, he missed the third jump and held on to his best score of 62.7 to advance in competition against four others for the gold medal on Saturday 16 July.e.
Location #5 Avondale Park
Precision Sport – Men’s Field Archery
Photos: Bronze Medal Game
Medalists: Gold – Erik Jonsson (Sweden); Silver – Leo Pettersson (Sweden)
Bronze – Ryan Davis (USA)
In Avondale Park, men’s field archery pitted American Ryan Davis against Germany’s Michael Meyer for the bronze medal. All athletes shoot at 24 targets and shoot three arrows at each target; six points is the maximum that can be scored with an arrow. In the final head-to-head over four separate distances of 15M, 20M, 40M and 50M, Ryan Davis won the bronze medal with a final score of 52-51.
Location #6: Sloss Ovens
Ball sport – Beach handball
Photos: Bronze Medal Game USA vs. Brazil
Medalists: Gold – Croatia; Silver – Qatar; Bronze – Brazil
At Sloss Furnaces, the Brazilian beach handball team held a steady lead throughout the bronze medal game. In this team sport played on the sand, players pass, bounce or roll a ball, while trying to throw it into the opposing team’s goal. Each team consists of three standard players and a goalkeeper or specialist on each side. Matches are divided into two 10-minute halves which serve as individual matches in the overall match. Every match is a best-of-two scenario. A goal scored by any player except the specialist or the goalkeeper is worth one point. Two points can be scored in three ways: a player makes an “alley-oop” where a player catches and shoots the ball without his feet touching the ground, a goalkeeper or a specialist scores a goal, or a player makes a spectacular or 360 – degree shot.
Venue #7 Legacy Arena/BJCC:
Artistic sport – Acrobatic gymnastics in female pair
Photos: Final exercise – Kazakhstan, Portugal, Ukraine, United States
Gold – Viktoriia Kozlovska and Taisiia Marchenko (Ukraine)
Silver – Rita Ferreira and Rita Teixeira (Portugal)
Bronze – Katherine Borcherding and Cierra McKown (USA)
Acrobatic gymnasts present a routine with music that includes a number of required collective and individual elements of static, dynamic and combined types. Three judging criteria include Difficulty, Execution, and Art which assess competitors on holding balanced pyramid maneuvers held for at least three seconds, elements of flight, and tumbling.
Ukraine’s Viktoriia Kozlovska and Taisiia Marchenko won the final round of practice with a score of 29.29, Portugal’s Rita Ferreira and Rita Teixeira finished with 28.78, and Americans Katherine Borcherding and Cierra McKown crowned the medals with a score of 27.10.