WIDPSC 2015 – Grand Finalists

This time direct from the mouth of the lion (eg. the official WIDPSC 2015 facebook page) which can be located here. Full list after the break.

Philip Balson (United States) becomes the only person this year to make multiple Grand Finals, being scheduled to appear in both Impromptu Speaking and Debating. Philip Balson previously came in 14th in persuasive speaking and 12th in debating at WIDPSC 2013 in Durban, and was 3rd overall at WIDPSC 2014 in Lithuania.
Canada’s dominance in the Finals is less apparent in Grand Final positions, with 4 of the 12 spots. South Africa follows closely behind with 3 of the Grand Final positions, Australia and the US with two a piece and hosts Hong Kong with the final Grand Final spot.

In other interesting but probably insignificant observation, there are another 3 of this year’s finalists who, like Philip, are at their third WIDPSC (since WIDPSC 2013). These are Natalie Ganzhorn (Canada), Jacob South-Klein (England) and Brendan Allan (South Africa). Samantha Starkey (Canada) is at her fourth having began at WIDPSC 2012 in Brisbane, Australia.

Assuming that generally speaking those in the Grand Final were higher ranked following the prelims unfortunately does not shine much light on the race for overall best speaker. Although statistically this might suggest the YP order is more accurate, the reality is that the AIDPSC order is hardly any different (weighted 60 and 65 respectively).

The Grand Finals will be at DGS later today (Saturday) with teams departing on Sunday.

Team Australia (From AIDPSC on facebook)

Grand Finalists

Persuasive Speaking

  • Natasha Noore (Australia)
  • Desmond Fairall (South Africa)

After-dinner Speaking

  • Shimali De Silva (Hong Kong)
  • Brendan Allan (South Africa)

Interpretive Reading

  • Emily Kelsall (Canada)
  • Imaan Kherani (Canada)


  • Philip Balson (United States)
  • Olivia Railton (Canada)
  • Rebecca Mqamelo (South Africa)
  • Samantha Starkey (Canada)

Impromptu Speaking

  • Philip Balson (United States)
  • Anant Butala (Australia)


  1. It’s actually Samantha Starkey’s fourth WIDPSC. She started going in 2012 when it was held in Brisbane, Australia.

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