WSDC 2010 – AUS vs. HK Octofinal


This is part of the WSDC 2010 series as I recount and report on the World School Debating Championship 2010 from Doha, Qatar as a debater, blogger and Hong Kong national team member.

After breaking into the Octofinals ranked 16th, our path crossed with that of top breaker Australia. In what turned out to be a close, difficult and tense debate on the motion That there should be no law restricting freedom of speech, Australia emerged victorious by a unanimous decision of 5-0. However, as both sides admitted whilst waiting, the debate that was supposedly one-sided and easy debate on paper for Australia turned out to be quite a battle. At the end of the day, we gave Australia a run for their money, although we ultimately lost, the debate was one of our best performances ever and certainly a high-quality final bow.
Whilst not directly reflected in the result, the following article from the Qatar Tribune accurately captures the nature of the debate. I’ve highlighted my favorite elements, albeit from a biased stand-point of a Hong Kong debater.

Favourites Australia scored a

not-so-convincing win

over lowly placed Hong Kong in the octo-finals, to move into the quarter-finals of the World Schools Debating Championship (WSDC). The final eight teams who are in the final round are Australia, Canada, Singapore, England, New Zealand, Wales, Pakistan and Slovenia.
In the first phase of the knockout stage, all 16 teams debated the motion ‘There should be no law restricting freedom of speech’. The octo-finals took place at four venues in four different universities.
In a competition held at Weill Cornell Medical College, Team Australia took on Hong Kong and had a vigorous round of debating.
With Team Australia going for the motion and Team Hong Kong in opposition, it was a contest worth listening. Both teams failed to convince the audience on many key issues. But the all-girl Australian team came up trumps primarily due to its vast experience and flair.

Team Hong Kong gave quite a tough time to the Australians and were almost on the verge staging a big upset in the tournament.

But Team Australia, guided by the eloquent wrap-up by Janna Connolly, safely saw the argument wrested from Team Hong Kong. Team Australia with great presentations from Laura Birchall, Joanna Connolly and Eleanor Gordon Smith finally saw the competition going their way. However,

Team Hong Kong should be proud of their effort and of the fact of having taken the contest right down to the wire.

Claire Rayan, the chief adjudicator of the competition, while announcing the results, commended the efforts of both the teams and said that it was very close. She said “Probably both the teams should have a better understanding of the topics in terms of its applications as both restricted themselves on some part of the motion. This made both the teams miss on many of the key arguments.” It was a team of five judges that adjudicated on the competition. The quarter-finals as well as the semifinals will be held on Wednesday and the grand finale will be held on Thursday.

Grand Final tonight between Canada (proposing) and England (opposing) on the motion That governments should never bail out big companies. Will be posting all results from the closing ceremony as soon as I get back.

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