Sadly haven’t been able to take part in any capacity despite WIDPSC 2015 being held in Hong Kong, but in a grateful break from Finals revisions, we have the 2015 Finalists courtesy of the SCMP Young Post, all neatly listed on their website here.
The full list of finalists are towards the end of this post. I don’t have the time to attempt a full analysis but here’s some initial observations based on the list of finalists. As always, any errors are my responsibility and no-one else’s. A useful metric to keep in mind is that there are 57 final spots for grabs this year.
Number of Finals
Martine Duffy (Canada) is the only participant to make all four finals. Close behind are Desmond Fairall (South Africa), Elizabeth Roberts (Canada), Natasha Noore (Australia), Philip Balson (United States), Samantha Starkey (Canada) and Sarah Hick (Canada) at 3 finals a piece. That makes 6 people on 3 finals each.
There are only 4 people in 2 finals each, these being Emma Potvin (Canada), Imaan Kherani (Canada), Ji Min Kang (Hong Kong) and Peirce Dickson (Canada). We therefore have a tail end of 27 people in 1 final each.
Finalists by country
Only 6 countries have any finalists. Canada come out overwhelming on top with 24 final spots, a little under 50% of them. Next behind them are South Africa on 9 finalists and Australia on 8 finalists. Hong Kong and the United States each have 7 final spots and England snag the last 2.
Looking at each category:
Persuasive Speaking: Canada – 6, South Africa – 3, Australia/Hong Kong/United States – 1
Interpretive Reading: Canada – 6, Australia/Hong Kong – 2, South Africa/United States – 1
Debating: Canada – 7, South Africa – 2, Australia/Hong Kong/United States – 1
Impromptu Speaking: Canada/Australia/United States – 3, South Africa/Hong Kong/England – 1
After-dinner Speaking: Canada/South Africa/Hong Kong – 2, Australia/United States/England – 1
It’s notoriously hard to predict overall rankings based only on the list of finalists, not the least because we are missing data for the unknown category/categories for just about everyone who aren’t in the Finals of all categories. It is possible that the YP list is in order, or that the powerpoint shown last night and detailed here by AIDPSC is in order, or quite possibly that the tabbsters are messing with us (in all seriousness I hope this is what happened) and neither is the correct prelim order.
The YP list gives us a likely top 7 of: Martine Duffy (Canada), Philip Balson (United States), Desmond Fairall (South Africa), Sarah Hick (Canada), Peirce Dickson (Canada), Imaan Kherani (Canada), Ji Min Kang (Hong Kong)
The AIDPSC order gives us a likely top 7 of: Samantha Starkey (Canada), Elizabeth Roberts (Canada), Sarah Hick (Canada), Martine Duffy (Canada), Desmond Fairall (South Africa), Natasha Noore (Australia), Philip Balson (United States)
The AIDPSC order seems to be more consistent if we take into account the number of finals that a particular person made (eg. the top 7 are those 7 people who made 3 or more finals). Even then it should be noted that I’ve given the ‘missing’ category quite a low weighting (that is I’ve assumed they will all performed reasonably consistently and were close to breaking). So how well these 7 do in the unknown category relative to each other will be the deciding factor.
In any event, it seems likely that a Canadian will walk away with the top prize, and perhaps not that surprising given that they have 4 of the 7 that made 3 or more finals. The closing ceremony is on Saturday (tomorrow) with the Finals currently ongoing.