Episode #264 - A Claim to Flame
Our heroes have finally reached Silvertown. Ash is fired up about the tournament, but Brock admonishes him for not reading the guide book. Gary passes by, he's competing too and has already filed his paperwork and chosen his Pokemon. He tells Ash that it takes more than enthusiasm to win. Ash angrily vows he'll put Gary in his place.
Later they meet James Goodshow, who encourages Ash to do his best. In the meantime, Team Rocket is working in a restaurant. They get hungry and start to eat the food, and the manager kicks them out.
The main Pokemon Centre for the Conference is huge, and the kids have a big room with a view of the lake. Brock reminds Ash about the trainer screening, so they all go to a series of small arenas where other competitors are battling. Here, trainers have a series of three matches to determine who will move up to the semi-finals.
Ash is called to an arena, and a computer determines who will start. Brock comments that whoever starts will be at a disadvantage. Ash is selected to go first, and he chooses Pikachu. His opponent uses a Furret, a Ground type. The Furret quickly gets the upper hand by tunnelling underground and attacking from below, but Ash tells Pikachu to grab onto its back and zap it. The match turns around and Ash wins! In the next two battles, Ash uses Phanpy against a Machoke and Cyndaquil against an Exeggutor, and wins both.
Everyone returns to the Centre to see the standings. Ash, Gary, and Harrison have all advanced to the semi-final. Mr. Goodshow arrives and explains that of the three trainers in each semi-final block, only one will get to the final. Ash is still confident that he can get there.
That night, Ash can't sleep, and decides to take a walk by the lake with Pikachu. He meets Gary, who also can't sleep, and they sit together to talk. Gary reminds Ash about the day in Pallet Town when he got Pikachu, and talks about the possibilities of the future. Both boys are determined to be number one, even though they are friends.
In the morning, the opening ceremonies get underway. Professor Oak and Tracey, Mrs. Ketchum and her Mr. Mime, and Professor Elm are all watching on TV. Gary and Ash wait with the other trainers to enter the stadium, but two uniformed officials approach Ash and ask him if he has applied for a Pokemon Panel. Without it he'll be disqualified! Gary sees Ash leave the lineup and wonders what's going on.
Ash is tied up and thrown into a room. The two "officials" are Team Rocket, and they capture Pikachu! They lock the door and take off. Ash tries to break down the door but he can't. Gary finds him and lets him out, and the boys chase after Team Rocket. The villains run but careen into the torch bearer, and everyone goes flying. Ash catches Pikachu and Gary catches the torch. Pikachu sends Team Rocket blasting off. The runner is hurt and can't continue, but Gary gets an idea.
Outside, an announcement says that the torch runner had an accident. Soon the torch appears, and who should be carrying it but Ash! With Pikachu beside him, he runs through the stadium and up to the giant flare to light it. Gary stands below, helping the runner into the stadium. Mr. Goodshow goes on stage and gives a rousing speech to all the trainers to keep the flame alive in their hearts and to have fun in the tournament.