Podium Moments – ML2020 Event 14

Hello and welcome to “Podium Moments”, a series that discusses the performance of the three athletes or teams that place on the podium after a competition. Today’s article will cover the three teams that finished on the podium for Event 14 of the 2020 Marble League!

The official pictogram for ML2020 Team Aquathlon, designed by the JMRC.

Bronze: The End of a Curse?

If it wasn’t clear already, it should be clear now—that despite their cloudy uniforms, the Hazers are a consistently strong team. They may not always score consistently, but the team knows how to pull together and play to their strengths, some of which being racing, overtaking, and water events.

All three of those elements were present in the Team Aquathlon, the newest adaptation of the Team Pursuit, and the Hazers did not disappoint. After they knocked out the championship contenders, Minty Maniacs, in the first heat, the Hazers faced and closely defeated the Racers in the quarterfinals. They fell to the Wisps in the semifinals, matching with Team Momo in the third place match, and finished nearly two seconds ahead of them to earn the bronze in a victory reminiscent of their success in the Triathlon.

Yes, the Hazers can no longer win the 2020 Marble League, but they have fought hard against the third place curse, as they currently stand in seventh overall. Is this the end of that curse?

Will Team Momo ever beat the Hazers in a water event?

Silver: Never Count Out…

The Savage Speeders. Never count out the Savage Speeders.

It’s a phrase that has echoed around the Marblebase for years, one that defines the Speeders’ growing dynasty status in Jelle’s Marble Runs tournaments. The team could do nothing in the final two events and still finish in the top five, a testament to their unwavering consistency and competitive nature.

Why would they, though? A twenty-point gap between first and second may seem like a big margin for most teams, but for the Savage Speeders, it’s one medal away from their second championship. The fact that the Speeders came so close to this event’s gold, after several dominant matchups and yet another tight photo finish, should demonstrate their drive to win it all.

Although the team has seldom done well in Collision, they could clinch it all in the Marathon event should the O’rangers do as poorly as they did in this event—against the Oceanics, no less. Regardless of how this season ends, there is no doubt that you should never, ever count out the Savage Speeders.

Never count out...a photo finish.

Gold: Threat Level Midnight

The Midnight Wisps have a history of doing well in water events, their best moment clearly being their gold medal in the Underwater Race 2017. Wospy, who edged ahead of Kinnowin at the last second, earned the gold medal from under the O’rangers’ nose, leading to a competitive finale against, of course, the O’rangers and the Savage Speeders. The Wisps also have a history competing against the Speeders. Not only have both of them reached the podium eight times, the Wisps also won the 2018 Marble League in a historic comeback against the Speeders, just one point ahead at the conclusion of the season. The Wisps-Speeders rivalry may be just as strong as the O’rangers-Speeders rivalry, even if it isn’t as apparent this season.

The results of this event, though, may reignite the intensity of that rivalry, as the Wisps now sit two points underneath the Speeders in the standings. If the O’rangers fall short of winning the Marble League, who’s to say the Wisps can’t make another comeback, even if they can’t do so from tenth place? They have a better shot of doing so from third place, anyway.

The podium moment at the end of ML2020 Event 14: Team Aquathlon.

Conclusion: Not Just Another Water Event

After designing an entire tournament around water events, the JMRC was initially hesitant to do water events in the 2020 Marble League—but Royal Stardust insisted, proposing a full realization of the Triathlon and pushing for a second water event that utilized elements of previous Team Pursuit events. The result was a truly unique addition to the 2020 Marble League—one that built upon previous team events and balanced it with the element of water to create nail-biting matchups…and set the stage for the conclusion of the season.

In conclusion, it is indeed a milestone to see three teams at the end of each Marble League event stand above the rest, because they—through months of training in the offseason, working to qualify, and dealing with the unquestionable presence of fortune that affects any sporting event—have preserved and put their best roll forward. They deserve their “podium moment”, but more than anything, they deserve their chance to shine.

Until next time, keep on rolling!

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