The Ukrainian world title wining pairing of Nadiia and Ivan Sivak returned to their winning form over the weekend (30 April – 1 May), claiming double gold at the Suomi Open in Lohja, Finland.
In the duo Latin, the Ukrainians were the judges’ clear favourites in all five dances – samba, cha cha cha, rumba, paso doble and jive. Russia’s Mariia Maraleva and Ivan Selinskii took the silver, and Austria’s Brigitte Kroel and Werner Keiser rounded off the podium.
The Ukranian couple especially showed why they are back-to-back world champions in the duo standard, putting on near-flawless performances in the waltz, tango, Viennese waltz, slow foxtrot and quickstep. Austria’s Kroel and Keiser were strong in the waltz and Viennese waltz to take the silver and hand the Russian couple of Maraleva and Selinskii the bronze medal.
Nadiia Sivak also partnered with Dmytro Churchun in the combi standard 2, where the couple took home bronze. Gold went to Russia’s Tatiana Skvortcova and Stanislav Sheschukov, followed by Ukraine’s Natalia Kolesova and partner Andrii Tovstyi.
Veronika Pedchenko and Valeriy Bevziuk added another gold for Ukraine after winning the combi Latin 1. Tuuli Harju and Timo Pyykkonen came in second for host nation Finland.
Russian world champions Maksim Sedakov and Galina Ryzhkova carried over their winning ways from the season opener held earlier in April.
Sedakov captured the men’s single 2, spoiling the 2016 debut of Germany’s Worlds silver medallist Erik Machens. Russia’s Sergey Antonov completed the podium.
With partner Svetlana Kukushina, Sedakov added another gold to his season by winning the combi Latin 2. Their performances in the paso doble and jive were enough to push fellow Russians Ryzhkova and her partner Viacheslav Osipov into second place. Poland’s Katarzyna Bloch and Marek Zaborovski came in third.
Ryzhkova found victory in the women’s single combined, capturing the judges’ eyes in the tango, samba, rumba and jive. Austria’s Sanja Vukasonovic took the silver, followed by Bloch.
Slovakia entered the medals standing, thanks to Helena Kasicka and Peter Vidasik in the combi standard 1. A strong dance in the tango especially helped the Slovakian duo win gold. Finnish couples of Harju and Pyykkonen, and Tuija Pajunen and Mikko Hakkarainen, rounded the podium with second and third place, respectively.
Russia topped the podium with eight medals, four which were gold. Ukraine was second with five, and Austria and Finland had three apiece.
Complete results from the Suomi Open are available on the IPC wheelchair dance sport website. The third event of the season heads to Frankfurt, Germany, for the International Wheelchair Dance Sport Mainhatten Cup held 28-29 May.