Beigang 2019: Para dance sport Worlds hots up after surprises in Chinese Taipei
Rivalry emerges between Filipino and Russian dancers after close results 25 Sep 2019
Svetlana Kukushkina and Maksim Sedakov have been a winning combination at Beigang 2019 and the 2019 Continents Cup
By World Para Dance Sport
The contest has heated up even more for the 2019 World Para Dance Sport Championships in November after surprising results from the Beigang Open in Chinese Taipei over the weekend.
Pressure is on for Filipino sweethearts Rhea Marquez and Julius Obero to perfect their combi freestyle performance ahead of the 2019 Worlds. In Beigang, the defending class 2 world champions took silver behind Russia’s Svetlana Kukushkina and Maksim Sedakov by mere points.
The Russian couple were stronger across all three judging criteria: technical skill, choreography and difficulty. Kukushkina and Sedakov missed out on the 2017 Worlds in Malle, Belgium. But their outstanding victory in Beigang showed they are a true threat to Marquez and Obero’s world title.
Sedakov also added a solo gold medal, winning the men’s freestyle, class 1 and 2 combined. It was his second victory in the discipline this year, following up on the St. Petersburg Continents Cup earlier this month.
Perhaps it was not a surprise anymore to see Helena Kasicka win the women’s singles freestyle in the class 1 category.
The Slovakian, who is better known for dancing in couples events – she won two titles at her last World Championships four years ago in Rome, Italy – returned from retirement last season. Her victory in the freestyle singles at the 2018 European Championships was a statement that she intends to return for this year’s Worlds in Bonn, Germany.
And she also intends to win gold there.
Kasicka barely edged Belgium’s Sofie Cox for the top of the podium in Beigang.
However, it was a surprise to see the 33-year-old Slovakian give the combi freestyle a go. It turned out to be a success, as she won with new standing partner Stefan Stropko.
The duo could not, however, top the podium in the combi Latin 1, finishing behind South Korea’s Youngseon Park and Changwoo Han.
Setting the standard
South Korea saw even more success in Beigang.
Hye-jeong Jang and Jeong-bu Bae added to their golden collection from the St. Petersburg Continents Cup by winning the combi standard 1 again in Beigang.
Jang has also been impressive by herself, dancing to gold in the women’s singles standard class 1 – another event she won in St. Petersburg.
With her toughest rival not competing in Beigang, Russia’s Aleksandra Berdnik enjoyed ownership of the women’s class 2 equivalent. Her victory will go a long way as she is expected to battle compatriot and 2015 world champion Galina Ryzhkova at the upcoming Worlds.