The 2013 World Schools Debating Championships may well be one of the most eventful tournaments in recent years. The run-up to the tournament saw a number of unexpected surprises from a call for extra adjudicators, reworked draws and now a truly unexpected Grand Final. Starting at 7pm Turkish time, the Grand Final will feature Team Swaziland against Team Australia on the motion THBT turkey is better off outside the EU. Interestingly enough, the two teams featured are also the two teams who recieved the highest total speaker scores, one of the rare instances in which the speaker scores seem to correlate with actual performance.Team Australia are the most sucessful WSDC team in history, winning the Championships on 8 ocassions (2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2001, 2000, 1998, 1997). Team Australia also featured in the Grand Finals in 1988, 1990, 1991, 2002 and 2011, the latter being a memory that will still be present for members Bo Seo and and Tyrone Connell who were both runners-up in WSDC 2011 in Dundee, Scotland. They will seek to go one better this time now joined by Zoe Brown, Nick Salmon and James Stratton. In reaching the Grand Finals, Australia sucessfully beat Ireland, South Africa and the Netherlands; loosing only to Canada in Round 8 and breaking 5th overall with the highest total speakers scores of the tournament.
Their opponents, Team Swaziland, will join the short list of WSDC Champions if sucessful. Team Swaziland attended WSDC 2012 for the first time, going 4-0 and ranking 28th. They have returned this year, going all the way to the Grand Finals. The team again features Fanele Mashwama who attended WSDC 2012. He is joined by Sandile Mndzebele, Lindelani Mabuza as well as fellow classmates of Waterford Kamhlaba UWC Swaziland Oliver Havelock Mills and Wabantu Hlophe. Team Swaziland are coached by UWC Swaziland alumnus Mlungisi Dlamini, who graduated in 2010 and was a Davis Scholar at Franklin and Marshall College before returning to teach at UWC Swaziland Waterford Kamhlaba UWC. Winning all but their first debate against Singapore, which Swaziland avenged in the semifinals; Team Swaziland beat defending champions Scotland on the way to breaking 2nd and with the 2nd highest total speaker points of the tournament.