The European Youth Ultimate Championships 2017 were officially launched yesterday. Following an impressive (and suitably noisy) parade through the streets of downtown Veenendaal, teams gathered in front of the city hall and were duly welcomed by the municipal alderman for Sports, then presented by TD Ted Beute. The young participants sang their national anthems with as much enthusiasm as they always put in their games. According to our - totally unscientific - survey, the singing contest might well have been won by Ireland, who offered a powerful rendition of "Amhran na bhFiann".
The parade then proceeded back to the tournament venue for the opening game, which pitted the Netherlands vs. Italy in the women’s U20 division. Fortunately, the morning and early afternoon showers were a thing of the past by that time, and the match was played in a sunny weather with a nice, tricky little crosswind. The game was balanced for the better part of the first half, each team scoring in turn until the Dutch finally managed to break at 7-5. The second half, however, was a rather one-sided affair, as the Netherlands kept increasing their lead, capitalising on almost each of their offences while Italy had difficulties concluding their attacks. The final score, 15-7, seemed to reflect the domination of a more experienced side. On the whole, a nice, entertaining game, played in an excellent spirit, expertly broadcast and commented on fanseat, and a fitting introduction to these championships.
Today, no less than 41 games will be played on 12 different fields. Fields 1 & 2 will be livestreamed on Fanseat, and we will do our best to keep you in touch with the rest of the action by means of written reports, video highlights, and more beautiful photos! Stay tuned!