To mark one month to go until the Malle 2017 World Para Dance Sport Championships, World Para Dance Sport has announced that all action from the event will be live streamed at www.worldparadancesport.com and www.youtube.com/ParalympicSportTV.
Nearly 170 athletes from 22 countries are expected to compete at Malle 2017 between 21-22 October in Belgium, contesting 18 medal events.
Sofie Cox and Sander Deckx are expected to draw vocal support from their home spectators. The couple will go for their first world title together in the duo Latin class 2 and duo standard class 2, as well as in their individual events.
Cox, 23, has shown Worlds podium potential after medaling in all three of the women’s single freestyle class 2 events this season. Deckx captured his first gold medal in the men’s single class 1 after winning at the Cuijk 2017 Para Dance Sport international competition in April.
Other big names expected to light up the dance floor are Ukrainians Ivan Zamiga and Illona Slugovyna. Zamiga became the new favourite in the men’s individual events only last year, when he won European titles in the single and freestyle class 2. Slugovyna is aiming to retain the world title she took from the 2015 World Championships in the women’s single class 1.
Other international couples are making the trip to Malle to defend their crowns. Mexico’s reigning world gold medallist Jesus Yermain Fernandez Angeles will pose an interesting competition for Zamiga in the men’s single freestyle. South Korea’s Hye-Jeong Jang and Youngho Lee are back, looking to hold onto their gold in the duo standard class 2. The Philippines' world champions Rhea Marquez and Julius Jun Obero are also targeting another winning performance in the combi freestyle class 2.
Malle 2017 will be the first major World Para Dance Sport competition since the 2016 European Championships in Kosice, Slovakia. The last World Championships were held in 2015 in Rome, Italy, which had about 160 athletes from 25 countries compete over 14 medal events.
Camila Rodrigues, World Para Dance Sport Manager, said: “We are excited to have Para dancers from all corners of the globe come together and bring performances that they have put their heart and souls into on the dance floor in Malle.
“As we have seen in Kosice 2016 and Rome 2015, the competition, creativity and passion are rising. And to be able to livestream these wonderful performances is another way to grow the popularity and reach of the sport.”