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The Pétanque World Cup in Marseille

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Uploaded on Oct 22, 2007

Provence is world famous for many things : sunshine, pastis, olives. Marcel Pagnol and Manon des Sources. The Mediterranean and the Mistral. And, perhaps above all, pétanque. So Marseille, Provence's biggest town, is a natural host for the 46th Pétanque World Cup -- and doubly so, as the sport celebrates the hundredth anniversary of its creation.

The memorable « clack » of a well-aimed boule enlivens many a village square across France ; it's a game to help families and friends while away a summer's evening. But as 12,000 competitors -- 4,000 teams -- are finding out, at this level it's a fiercely competitive game.

With competitors from more than 20 nations competing, we try to find out why it's a game that -- despite its role as a French cliché -- is more and more popular around the world.

We also follow an American competitor who, despite his lack of experience, manages to fight his way into the last 16 -- an impressive display that earns him plaudits from teammates and opposition alike.

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