Podium Moments – ML2020 Event 4

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 4 of the 2020 Marble League!

The official pictogram for ML20 Newton's Cradle, designed by the JMRC.

Bronze: Still in the Race

Believe it or not, the Raspberry Racers are keeping up their streak of earning one medal per every two events. This is their second medal of four events in the 2020 Marble League, and though they sit below the top three at the end of this event, they show no signs of giving up.

Rizzy was a strong choice to lead the Racers in this event, which required a duality of expertise and participation similar to the Summer Biathlon and Surfing, events which Rizzy previously competed in. As Rizzy struck the ball bearing, Rozzy lurched forward, skipping onto the track and reaching toward the 100 centimeter mark, just as they had reached across the Dirt Race finish line ahead of the Savage Speeders. Rozzy set a distance of 105,1, a little more than a centimeter below the leaders at the time. It would be enough to make the podium and remain in the top five, continuing their remarkable streak and proving that the Raspberry Racers are still in the race for their second championship.

Race for the stars.

Silver: Breaking the Curse

Starry and Pulsar, a breakout duo from their successes in Marbula One, have put on another dazzling performance, and while it’s not a gold medal, it’s something that their team needed very badly. Team Galactic, as the hosts of the 2020 Marble League, are subject to a growing phenomenon in the fanbase called the “host’s curse”, where the team that hosts an event or tournament does poorly. The curse began with the Minty Maniacs when they hosted the 2016 Hubelino Tournament and finished second-to-last, but the best and most critical example of a team that suffered the curse was the Oceanics when they hosted the 2019 Marble League last year and finished in last.

Besides their fifth place performance in the Halfpipe, Team Galactic had yet to score well in the top half…until now. As Starry coasted down the track, she built up energy and rammed into the cradle, ricocheting straight back as Pulsar skipped across the track. The duo were the first to exceed 100 centimeters, and with a score of 106,55, became the team to beat as the event rolled on.

Team Galactic fans can breathe a sigh of relief. While there’s no telling where their performances will go from here, it is clear that they at least won’t repeat the disappointments of the previous hosts. In fact, if things keep going the way they are, the Oceanics may as well still be hosting this year’s Marble League.

Team Galactic fans, riding the wave.

Gold: Overpowering

How did those cheeky O’rangers do so well, beating the hosts at their own event? “We did our research,” asserted Clementin. “While this is a new event, there’s a few similarities to Block Pushing, which happens to be one of our best events. You have to transfer the momentum from sprinting down the track to a physical object, which in this case was the cradle.”

“The knockback from the cradle needed to be perfect. As Clementin was launched straight back up the descending track, the opposite side of the cradle launched me forward,” Tangerin explained. “I skipped onto the track and let myself roll up as far as I could, trusting the momentum from the cradle to keep me moving.”

Clementin and Tangerin have done what no O’ranger has done before. The O’rangers have never earned more than one gold medal in a season—until now. With their third medal in a row, the O’rangers have taken the top of the standings swiftly, and while they aren’t far ahead of the Minty Maniacs, they are clear of most of the other teams in the field…at least for now.

The podium moment at the end of ML2020 Event 4: Newton's Cradle.

Conclusion: A Surprise Tool?

The mystery of the Newton’s Cradle drove speculation for much of the first quarter of the 2020 Marble League. The result was one of the most innovative events yet in the history of this series: apart from being the first duo event, the Newton’s Cradle seemed simple from the outset but tested multiple skillsets and displayed several close results, coming down to the millimeters. King Stardust, who ran the event with his Starcrew prior to the teams, continues to impress in offering events that truly stand out and test competitors to be the best they can possibly be. His efforts should be commended as much as, if not more than, the efforts of all sixteen teams competing this 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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