by David Fink
The World Players of Handball and the Salt Lake City Handball Community are thrilled to host the WPH Race 4 Eight V Stop #6/WPH Outdoor V Stop #4 Salt Lake City Aces, featuring the top R48Pro and WPH Outdoor players in the world competing on handball’s most prestigious stage live on the Watch ESPN App.
The Race 4 Eight V Stop #6 Salt Lake City Aces Preview
The Race 4 Eight #1 pro and 5-time defending World Champion Paul Brady will be making his fifth transatlantic trip in seven months from his home in Ireland to Salt Lake City in search of his 13th Race 4 Eight title in his 16th Race 4 Eight start. Brady will stop at the New York Athletic Club en route to Salt Lake City to be honored as the New York Athletic Club’s “2016 Athlete of the Year”, joining John Bike, Jr. as just the second handball player in the history of the NYAC to receive the prestigious honor. When Brady touches down in Salt Lake City, he’ll be aiming to erase the sting of consecutive tournament losses in the City of Saints, as Brady’s greatest R48 rival Mando Ortiz defeated him at the 2014 WPH R48 Player’s Championship in Salt Lake City and he was forced to withdraw at the 2015 WPH R48 Player’s Championship in Salt Lake City with a leg injury. After losing just one singles match in international competition between 2005-2014, Brady has lost twice to Southern California’s Mando Ortiz since 2014, including a scintillating semifinal defeat in Houston just two months ago.
Brady and Ortiz will contend with not only one another, but also their fellow “Elite 8” rivals in Salt Lake City. Current WPH R48 Player’s Champion and WPH #2 Sean Lenning will be hungry for his third R48 title in less than a year, 9-time R48 Champion Luis Moreno will seek to end his 13-tournament R48 drought, San Francisco Olympic Club’s “2016 Olympian of the Year” Emmett Peixoto will look to regain the form that saw him advance to a R48 final last season, Irish sensation Killian Carroll will be seeking his second R48 final of the season, while four-time R48 Elite 8 member David Fink and the WPH’s 2015 Rookie of the Year Daniel Cordova will be in search of their first R48 finals appearances.
Salt Lake City has also attracted one of the most talented R48 qualifiers in the five-year history of the Race 4 Eight tour, with 9th ranked R48 pro and former R48 “Elite 8” member Luis Cordova, SR48 #1 and former Elite 8 invitee Marcos Chavez, Ireland’s Peter and Paddy Funchion, Canada’s Ryan Bowler and Michael Gaulton, Costa Rica’s Jonathan Iglesias, Wisconsin’s Anthony Selestow, and a number of other R48 qualifier stars.
“The Salt Lake City qualifier is so strong that we’ll likely see top 15 pros fail to qualify and those that do qualify likely to reek havoc in the main draw,” revealed WPH ESPN play-by-play broadcaster David Vincent.
The WPH Outdoor V Stop #4 Salt Lake City Aces Preview
The WPH R48 V Stop #6 Salt Lake City also doubles as the WPH Outdoor V Stop #4, with the top Big Ball stars in the game striving for valuable ranking points in the “Race 2 Vegas” in September. The WPH Outdoor V tour features not only 3WallBall but also 4-Wall and 1-Wall Big Ball, and will undoubtedly determine the best all-around Big Ball player in the sport.
Samzon Hernandez picked up the first victory of the WPH Outdoor V season with a dominating 4-Wall Big Ball victory at Stockton California’s IceMan challenge, while top-ranked WPH Outdoor star Juan Santos dominated the field at the 3-Wall WPH Outdoor V Stop #2 Nietes Park in Southern California to claim his first title of the WPH outdoor V season.
Hernandez and Santos have dominated the WPH Outdoor tour since the inception of the tour in 2012, combining to win 21 of the 24 WPH Outdoor Men’s Open Singles events. Hernandez and Santos will face the best players in 4-Wall Big Ball Handball in Salt Lake City, as their Southern California rivals Chava Cordova, Shorty Ruiz, Marcos Chavez, Sal Duenas, and Alfredo Morales will make the 700-mile trip from Southern California to Salt Lake City. Joining the Southern California Big Ball stars in Salt Lake City will be R48 Cross Over stars Luis Cordova, Billy O’Donnell, and Ryan Bowler. What a field!
“There are so many great Big Ball players in Southern California and beyond and for Samzon and Santos to dominate the way they have through the first four seasons speaks to their incredible talents,” stated WPH Executive Director David Vincent. “With that being said, there is a hungry group of challengers closing the gap on the WPH Outdoor’s dynamic duo and we could see one or more of those players challenge Samzon and Santos for the top spot this season.
WPH Race 4 Eight and WPH Outdoor Clinics in Salt Lake City
The WPH Race 4 Eight V Salt Lake City Aces Stop #6 Powered by ESPN features not only the best pro handball players in the game, but also exciting junior clinics featuring Race 4 Eight and WPH Outdoor pros coaching junior and collegiate players. Junior WPH proudly presents junior and collegiate handball clinics at all WPH Race 4 Eight and WPH Outdoor events, as well as hosting more than 800 junior handball clinics throughout each year. The WPH sponsored Park City JR WPH Program will be on hand to receive coaching from the game’s best players in a special Saturday clinic. What a treat!
WPH RACE 4 EIGHT: The World Players of Handball’s Race 4 Eight V powered by ESPN features seven regular season stops, culminating in The Player’s Championship in Portland, OR to identify the top eight point earners on the tour. Similar to Nascar’s Nextel Cup and the FedEx PGA Playoffs, players earn points in the Race 4 Eight’s first six stops to qualify for the season-ending Player’s Championship and $20k first place prize. It all happens live on Watch ESPN!
The Race 4 Eight V held its first event in October of 2015 at the Simple Green U.S. Open in Fountain Valley, CA and its second event at the R48 V Tucson Memorial in November. Following a holiday break in December, Race 4 Eight hosted its third event in New Orleans in January of 2016, the fourth event in Houston in February, the fifth event in New York City, the sixth event in Salt Lake City, UT in April and The Player’s Championship in Portland, OR in May.
For more information on the Race 4 Eight V Tour please contact World Players of Handball Executive Director David Vincent at email@example.com or World Players of Handball Development Director David Fink at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the World Players of Handball, please visit wphlive.tv
WPH Outdoor Player’s Cup: The World Player’s of Handball’s WPH Outdoor Player’s Cup Series was formed in 2012 to showcase the game’s best 3-Wall Big Ball Stars. Since 2012, the WPH Outdoor Player’s Cup Series has hosted 23 events in California, Mexico and Nevada, creating the stage for hundreds of top big ball stars to compete against one another in professional, competitive and family-friendly events that promote sportsmanship and community spirit while inspiring the next generation of players. The WPH Outdoor V season features six events in Southern California, Utah, and Nevada. To see the full schedule, click here. All WPH Outdoor events host Junior WPH clinics with WPH Outdoor Elite players serving as mentors and coaches and junior tournament divisions starting at nine-and-under for boys and girls.
For more information on the WPH Outdoor Player’s Cup Series, please contact World Players of Handball Executive Director David Vincent at email@example.com, World Players of Handball Development Director David Fink at firstname.lastname@example.org or WPH Outdoor Director Tom Flores at email@example.com. For more information on the World Players of Handball, please visit wphlive.tv