Malle 2017: Combi standard preview

Asian dancers could challenge European heavyweights for medals 15 Oct 2017
a Para dance couple perform a move
Hye-Jeong Jang and Lee Ikhee head into Malle 2017 looking for a medal
ⒸRoland Lipovits

South Koreans Hye-Jeong Jang and Lee Ikhee will want to make the mileage to Malle, Belgium, worth it when they compete in the combi standard class 1 at the 2017 World Para Dance Sport Championships.

Both class 1 and class 2 events will be contested on Sunday (22 October).

Other potential contenders are Kazakhstan’s Aidana Beglenova and Ardak Otorbayev, who gave a graceful performance at Rome 2015 but just missed the podium. They finished behind the South Koreans at the Asian Championships, but won the Starlight Open in September in the absence of Jang and Lee.

European silver medallists Veranika Kasach and Aliaksei Zukhtsikau from Belarus took bronze behind the South Koreans in 2015 and have practiced for gold in Malle. But Finland’s Tuuli Harju and Timo Pyykkonen are currently ranked No.1 and would hope to claim their first World Championship title.

Belarus’ Hanna Harchakova and Roman Usmanov boast the European and world titles in the combi standard 2. Their winning performance at this year’s Mainhatten Cup in Germany was a glimpse of their intentions for Malle. However, Hong Kong’s Evina Wai-king Wong and Man-chun Choi are also coming off a successful season. The couple took bronze at the 2016 Asian Championships and have been consistent podium finishers this season, including a win at the Starlight Open and bronze in Germany.

Around 170 athletes from 22 nations are expected to compete in 18 medal events at the 2017 World Para Dance Sport Championships, which runs 21-22 October. The event will be streamed live on World Para Dance Sport’s website.