Opening Pull: US Win Double Gold at WJUC, AUDL Playoffs Underway

Plus, the 2028 Olympic dream is dead.

Declan Kervick and the US U20 National Team celebrate the gold-medal-winning score at WJUC 2022. Photo: Kevin Leclaire -- UltiPhotos.com
Declan Kervick and the US U20 National Team celebrate the gold-medal-winning score at WJUC 2022. Photo: Kevin Leclaire — UltiPhotos.com

 

Opening Pull is Ultiworld’s weekly wrap-up of the previous week in ultimate, available both here on the site and as an email newsletter. We’ve gathered the news you need to know and highlights you need to see. Check back weekly or subscribe now to receive Opening Pull in your inbox along with a rundown of the previous week’s content on Ultiworld.

United States Claims Two Golds at WJUC

After the 2020 iteration of the event was canceled during the pandemic, the United States won gold in two divisions at the 2022 World Junior Ultimate Championships this past week in Wroclaw, Poland. In both the U20 Women’s and U20 Open divisions, the US completed undefeated runs through the tournament with finals wins over France on Saturday.

The US Women’s Team won an exciting final 14-12, holding off a late-game comeback bid from the French. Chloe Hakimi starred for the US in the game, including catching the game winner. Despite suffering three losses earlier in the week, Canada recovered to claim bronze in the division.

U20 Champs tweet

In the Open Division, the United States rode a four-break run on either side of halftime to a 15-11 over over an impressive French side. A first half callahan from Declan Kervick highlighted play. The Italians took the third spot on the podium in Open, knocking off Canada 15-12 in the bronze medal game.

Elsewhere at the event, Hungary shocked in winning Mixed gold in both the U17 and U20 age divisions, while Italy topped France in the U17 European Junior competitions in both the Open and Women’s divisions.

AUDL Playoffs Underway

The path to Championship Weekend 11 kicked off this weekend, as three divisions held first-round playoff games on Saturday night.

All three no.2 seeds picked up victories at home, as the DC Breeze knocked off the Philadelphia Phoenix 23-18 and Minnesota Wind Chill bested the Indianapolis Alleycats 20-18 to advance to the East and Midwest divisional championships respectively. Out West, first-year club Salt Lake Shred topped 2021 Championship Weekend attendees San Diego Growlers 19-16, setting up an all expansion team showdown with the Colorado Summit next week for the West division title.

Stay tuned for more coverage of these games this week.

Ultimate Dropped from Los Angeles 2028 Olympics Consideration

After years of lobbying from the sport’s international governing body and speculation that this could be ultimate’s best-ever chance for inclusion, ultimate was not advanced among the nine finalists to be considered as a showcase sport for the 2028 Olympic Programme in Los Angeles. Missing out on this chance when the Summer Games were to be held in a country and city with strong ties to the sport likely indicates that ultimate will remain a long shot to be added to any future edition given the current size limitations and structure of the Olympics.

Highlight of the Week

U20 Boys Highlight

Coming Up

  • The Elite-Select Challenge will fill in the next big piece of the bid picture during the condensed club regular season, with crucial action in all three gender divisions.
  • The AUDL playoffs continue as four division title games decide which quartet will head to Madison for the league’s Championship Weekend 11 at the end of the month.
  1. Steve Sullivan
    Steve Sullivan

    Steve Sullivan is the Executive Editor of Ultiworld. He began playing in 2001 at Boston University, helped found and then played 14 seasons with Slow White, and most recently competed with San Francisco Blackbird. He has volunteered as a college Sectional Coordinator, a club Regional Coordinator, served three terms as a player-elected representative for the Mixed division on USAU's Club Working Group, and is currently an At-Large rep on the USAU Board of Directors. He has previously written for the USAU magazine and The Huddle, and was editor of the book "Ultimate: The First Five Decades, Vol II." You can reach him by email (steve@ultiworld.com) or on Twitter (@sjsully21).

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