MALAYSIAN ultimate frisbee team Cendol prevailed against Team Red in a thrilling final to capture ASEAN Games Australia gold. Alushka Rajaram reports.
Ultimate frisbee isn’t a sport usually associated with ASEAN countries but the strong enough community of players in Melbourne justified the sport’s inclusion in the ASEAN Games Australia (AGA) 2012.
For the uninitiated, an ultimate frisbee team typically has two handlers (think American football quarterbacks), three middles (or mids – connectors to the wings), and two wings (receivers). The numbers of each position change over the course of the game.
The ultimate frisbee tournament was held on September 22, 9am, at Albert Park Synthetic Fields, and it had five mixed-gender teams competing.
Malaysian teams, Cendol, Durian, My Team, and Red, and Singaporean team, Indescribable Feelings, set out to claim victory, and the title of AGA 2012 ultimate Frisbee champions.
The non-contact sport still drew plenty of bruises and scratches, but sportsmanship seemed to be the prevailing theme of the day.
Players from opposing teams fetched each other drinks and helped stretch out cramped muscles.
“We’re a close-knit community,” said David Tiarso, a Team Durian player.
This was evident in the fact that most teams had already played each other before.
But were there any problems with girls playing boys? No, says one of the players, Wong Ruyan.
“We don’t really need to defend them (the boys),” she says.
“We’re usually on the girls, So we don’t have any body contact or anything.”
From the sidelines, spectators cheered the teams on and screamed out advice. Some even entertained players with their rendition of the pop culture phenomenon, Korean song Gangnam Style, between matches.
Ultimately, Team Cendol triumphed against Team Red, 4-3, in an evenly matched, nail-biting final.
The 40-minute affair saw much fewer casualties, compared to the preceding ones, and both teams traded point for point right to the end.
With the match tied at 3-3, Team Cendol scored the next point during the three minutes of extra time and hung on to take out the championship, before collapsing onto the ground, relieved.
Team Cendol captain, Xavier Ang, was happy with his team.
“Everyone played well,” he said.
“There’s a lot of commitment in our team. We train every Saturday from 11am to 4pm.”
Xavier hoped they would be around to defend their title at the next AGA.
We caught up with some of the ultimate frisbee players at ASEAN Games Australia to find out what got them involved in the popular team sport.