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Wales wins the Gold in the Commonwealth Championship before playing the finals

Congratulations to the Wales (Gary Jones, John Salisbury, Mike Tedd, Patrick Jourdain, Tim Rees, Tony Ratcliff) team (http://www.commonwealthbridgescotland.com/). They were so good that they have the Gold medal in the bag before the finals has even started. How so? The Commonwealth Nations Team event is odd in that it has 2 sets of teams - ones that are eligible for medals and ones that aren't.  Each member country may send one team forming the pool of teams eligible for medals. Each member country may send one more team that is not eligible for medals. In addition there is always a chairman's team (can somebody tell me chairman of what?) and the organizing committee is allowed to invite more teams. See the conditions of contest here - http://www.commonwealthbridgescotland.com/media/pdf/CoC_2014_final.pdf.  It turns out Wales will be playing the chairman's team in the final which means win or lose they are the Gold Medalists. If you read the conditions of contest there is also mention of various kinds interesting situations involving non-medal eligible teams in various rounds. For example India and England (the losing semifinalists) will playoff for the silver and bronze medal.

If you look at the last running of this event in 2010, Scotland did the same thing (winning the Gold medal before playing the final). Scotland went on to lose to an invited Indian team - Hemant Jalan (incidentally the same team is the official Indian team this time around and lost to Wales in the semifinals) and so we had weird situation of Hemant Jalan winning the event but Scotland winning the Gold Medal. 

In general I find this a very odd arrangement. If the goal is get more teams then why not allow each member two official entries. This year even has a transnational event where all and sundry non-medal eligible teams could have participated. Does the current format make sense to anyone?

 

 

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