Kosice 2016: Stage set for top European dancers

The European Championships begins 28 October in Kosice, Slovakia. 27 Oct 2016
Kasicka and Vidasic - wheelchair dance sport

Kasicka and Vidasic

ⒸRoland E. Lipovits

More than 100 athletes from 14 nations are ready to put on their best performances in the search for gold, as the 2016 IPC Wheelchair Dance Sport European Championships take centre stage in Kosice, Slovakia, from 28-30 October.

The competition will be live streamed at the IPC Wheelchair Dance Sport website. The competition schedule is available at the Kosice 2016 website.

Thirteen medal events will feature many of the top-ranked wheelchair dancers in the world.

The Slovakian couple of Helena Kasicka and Peter Vidasic will try to give their home fans something to cheer about. They own gold in the combi standard class 1 from the 2015 World Championships and are ranked world No.1 in the combi freestyle class 1.

However it is the Belarusian pair of Veranika Kasach and Aliaksei Zukhtsikau and the Israeli tandem of Vital Zinger and Sean Shabtay Ziv who look to retain their European titles in the respective events.

The combi Latin class 1 could see a Belarusian sweep. Reigning world champions and No. 1 ranked Darya Kulsh and Aliaksandr Liakhovich expect nothing less than gold. But compatriots and No. 2 Hanna Siratsiuk and Ihar Kuliashou will want to defend their European crown.

World No. 3 ranked Kasach and Zukhtsikau could complete the Belarusian top three. But Worlds runners-up Kasicka and Vidasic might spoil Belarus’ run.

The host nation seek another podium finish in the combi freestyle class 2, where No. 2 Maria Dutkova and Martin Solc will try to wow the judges.

Poland’s world No. 1 Katarzyna Bloch and Marek Zaborowski will try to light up the floor in the combi Latin class 2.

Austria’s Brigitte Kroell and Werner Kaiser own the top ranking spots in the duo standard class 2 – where they took silver from the Belgian Open earlier in October – and duo Latin. But Poland’s Joanna Reda and Pawel Karpinski are fresh off gold in the duo Latin in Belgium, and are expected to challenge for the top of the podium.

Ukraine’s Illona Slugovyna is targeting three gold medals. She will look to add the European title to her name in the women’s singles class 1 after winning World gold in 2015. The Ukrainian will then partner with Valeriy Bevzyuk as they look to show why they are the world champions in the duo standard class 1.

Their compatriot Olena Chynka takes on the women’s single class 2 as the Worlds runner-up. But Austria’s Sanja Vukasinovic is also seeking to better the silver medal she took from the European Championships two years ago in Lomianki, Poland.

The women’s singles freestyle will combine class 1 and 2 dancers. Belgium’s Sophie Cox is the lone dancer who returns from the 2014 Europeans, but the floor is expected to be wide open.

Although ranked No. 6 in the world, Germany’s Worlds silver medallist Erik Machens is a clear favourite and expected to defend his European gold in the men’s.

The full competition schedule can be found online. Live updates from Kosice 2016 can be followed on Facebook (/IPCWheelchairDanceSport) and Twitter (@IPCWDS).

Pictures from each competition day will be available at Kosice 2016 website.