The IRF World Games concluded this past weekend and the US took the Gold in the overall rankings. If you're a die-hard racquetball fan, you know it was a distinct year for results though.
For the first time in history, the Men's Doubles Gold Medal match was played by countries other than the US and Mexico... Columbia played Canada and took the top spot, spoiling Canada's Mike Green and his 3rd try at a World Title. I read in The Racquetball Blog, that Bolivia's president requested the IRT Network's stream be broadcasted nationally in Bolivia and that they made it happen... which is a huge thing.
Paola and Samantha of Mexico took their 3rd consecutive world title together, making them the first pair to ever to do so. While Paola took gold in singles, getting past Rhonda to tie her with 2 consecutive IRF World Titles.
The Men's Gold Final saw Rocky Carson take his 4th consecutive IRF World Title. (Most gold medals - Men.) He played a tough young Bolivian, Conrado Moscoso, who is barely 18 and the current U18 World Junior Champion.
I got to talk a little about the match with Rocky, who is visiting NYC with his family. He confirmed the feeling that South American players are trending towards the top of the sport. Rocky shared that Moscoso was aggressive, which felt contrary to his experiences with Mexican and South American players, who, in his words, tended to lean towards a more relaxed type of Alvaro game style. It makes me think of players like Argentina's Maria Jose Vargas, who is super aggressive and being coached by Cliff Swain.
Carson probably has the most diverse accomplishment listing ever. He's also an IRT World Champion and 8-time World Outdoor Singles Champion. (Not to mention numerous doubles chips and 3 consecutive Vegas 3 Wall Ball championships.) We talked a bit about training to keep in shape, how building core strength is important as well as other things. Add to that, the surfer, family man, jokester thing and you can argue the most interesting man in the world commercial thing... his next stop, after a couple of weeks of rest, he will be trying to regain his WOR Singles Championship.