Ever heard of Ultimate Frisbee? It’s the only mixed-gender Olympic sport, that’s also self-refereed, even at the highest level. This year, an Indian team of nine men and ten women won the bronze medal at the AOBUC (Asia-Oceanic Beach Ultimate Championship) being held near Osaka, Japan.
The Indian contingent had two teams in the mixed competition - India Mixed 1 and India Mixed 2.
The India Mixed 1 team won its league quarter final match against New Zealand (12-9), before going down to Japan (8-12) in the semi finals. However, the team defeated Australia (11-8) in the third place playoff, to bag the bronze medal, for the first-time ever.
The Game and the Championship
Ultimate Frisbee has grown in popularity and professionalism exponentially, from when it originated, in 1968 in its current form. Frisbee was played from even earlier, with cake pans right from the early 40s. It was in 2015 that it became an Olympic sport.
After coming fifth in the 2017 World Championships (Royan, France), India was seeded second this time. Over 200 professionals from across the country participated in two rounds of tryouts, from which the current team was chosen.
The India squad was given rigorous training at the Elliots Beach in Chennai for the past eight months. The team members are from six different indian cities, across varied socio-economic backgrounds. At the AOBUC, they will compete with participants from over ten countries across the world.
India has been in the Ultimate Frisbee scene since 2008. Today, around 9,500 athletes from over 17 states across the country gather for the annual championships held by the World Flying Disc Federation (international governing body of the sport).
The Indian team was supported by BookMyShow’s charity initiative, BookASmile.
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