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Did You Know...

... that SportLoto edged out Thunder ISR by two points at the World Challenge 2014?

   
    First showdown at the World Challenge 2011: SportLoto
posted Apr 14th, 2014 - The 4way Open Class duel between Thunder ISR and SportLoto from Russia has been going on since 2011, and the Sun Path Products NSL News has paid attention to it with several stories over the years. This duel has also been a part of the race to claim the unofficial title of the best amateur team in the world.

The World Challenge 2014 featured the Thunder/SportLoto battle for the fourth time, and the Russian team won three of the indoor showdowns at Bodyflight Bedford. Thunder won at the World Challenge 2012 when SportLoto did not compete with the original lineup and also had the upper hand later at the World Cup 2012.

This year's showdown between the two teams was the closest one ever, and SportLoto edged out Thunder (24.3 - 24.1) by two points, after a 3-point advantage last year.
World Challenge 2014Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
RankAAA Class17,18,195,16,64,N,13P,F,12,MJ,D,10,KG,3,O,CH,22,1420,2,81,21,1115,7,LTotalAvg
5SportLoto (RU)2426203021302421202724324.3
6Thunder ISR (BE)2024213027272121212924124.1

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First showdown at the World Challenge 2011: Thunder ISR    
Thunder ISR had a very slow start and was six points behind after Round 2. The Dutch/Belgian combination recovered and won back one point in Round 4. It was still a 5-point lead for SportLoto before the last round of the first day came up, where the Russian team allowed Thunder to come back and even take a 1-point lead.

Then it was time for SportLoto to recover, and a whole night of rest did well after the 6-point loss in Round 5. SportLoto won Round 6 and Round 7 by three points each and turned the 1-point deficit into a new 5-point lead.

Thunder again managed to fight back and won the last three rounds by a total of three points. It was too late this time, and Thunder was eventually running out of rounds. The jump-off sequence could have been an opportunity for Thunder to change the outcome, but both teams were too far away from the money slots, and SportLoto had saved a 2-point lead over the finish line.
World Challenge 2014Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
RankAAA Class17,18,195,16,64,N,13P,F,12,MJ,D,10,KG,3,O,CH,22,1420,2,81,21,1115,7,LTotalAvg
4Gavroches (FR)2325243331312018212825425.4
5SportLoto (RU)2426203021302421202724324.3
6Thunder ISR (BE)2024213027272121212924124.1
7Qatar Tigers (QA)2121222927281817212623023.0
8Voodoo (ZA)2123192826271918192322322.3


   
    World class amateur team: Gavroches
Gavroches from France had secured the 4th place early enough, even though Thunder and SportLoto both outscored the French team throughout the second half of the meet. SportLoto outscored Gavroches by four points, and Thunder was one point ahead of the French team for Rounds 6 - 10.

Gavroches now probably have to be considered in the race for the unofficial title of the best amateur team in the world. All four members have retired from the French national delegation and are training and competing on their own expense and vacation time. Especially the second half of the meet shows that SportLoto and Thunder are on their way to catch up with the former 8way world champions.

There is also an interesting situation right behind the world's best unofficial amateur teams. Voodoo broke the 20-average benchmark easily, and the Qatar Tigers are on their way to pursue medal positions some time soon. The Sun Path Products NSL News will follow up on those two topics.

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