Mixed ultimate has been on the rise in Europe for many years now and day one of the ECBU was no exception. Hosting 18 teams, the level in this biggest division was high, wins were big and defeats were disappointing.
Pool A included both European powerhouses Sweden and Germany, but there were no surprises here. The German mixed team had a convincing win over host country Spain with 13-7 and also ended their final game of the day against Switzerland by the same numbers. In between these games, Germany struggled much less with the 6th seed in pool A, beating Hungary who were also overpowered by Sweden and Switzerland. Seeded 2nd in the pool coming into the tournament, Sweden took 13-4 victories over both Italy and Spain and lastly beat Hungary by 13-7. Both teams stay undefeated and will face each other on day 2.
In pool B, both number 1 seed Russia and number 2 seed Portugal lived up to their reputations. A beach playing country since day 1, the Portuguese showed their opponents that the beach is their home. Coming down with a very exciting universe point win over the French, they also managed to beat Belgium 11-6 and Norway with 11-3. The Russians, fresh off a Paganello victory, have been known to have a strong squad and they also delivered today. With 3 victories in 3 games it will be hard to stop them on day 2. Next to that, the Belgians have had some trouble finding their A-game but are definitely looking to step it up on Friday, since the best two number 3’s in the pool will also advance into quarter finals. France, having recovered from their tough universe point loss, had an important victory over Austria and is also looking looking to stay in contention.
With both Great Britain and Ireland in one pool, needless to say pool C was going to be a tough nut to crack. Adding 3rd seed Poland and a very well-performing Turkey to this stacked pool, Pool C could easily be called the pool of death. The Netherlands came out strong but just couldn’t make it in the end. In the last game of the day they faced Ireland who was desperately looking for a victory to close out the day and keep their quarter final hopes alive. The Dutch were down 8-5 but turned it up a notch to tie the game at 8-8 with an amazing layout catch by #17 Linda Schipper. Ireland pulled out a footblock to score 9-8 in the game to 10 which turned out to be a real nailbiter for both teams. A few turns here and there, including some nice Netherlands passes into the endzone that were just inches too far, the Irish played a short, patient game to take the game at 10-8. Seeded last in the pool, United European Islands suffered from some traditional pick-up team problems but did represent Europe in a nice way! The Matchup of the day might have been GB taking on Poland, which ended in another universe point between two very motivated teams. Great Britain showed they have a backpack filled with experience but struggled a little to win this game and hold their number one seed.