Malle 2017: Duo Latin preview

Polish duo Reda and Karpinski could top off season with world title 16 Oct 2017
Two dancers in a wheelchair performing
Joanna Reda and Pawel Karpinski at the 2016 European Championships in Kosice, Slovakia
ⒸRoman Benicky

About this time last year, Poland’s Joanna Reda and Pawel Karpinski burst with emotion when they won gold in the duo Latin class 2 European Championships in Kosice, Slovakia.

In less than a week’s time, Reda and Karpinski could add to that moment at the 2017 World Para Dance Sport Championships, which begin Saturday (21 October) in Malle, Belgium.

The couple has been outstanding in 2017 so far, winning the event at the Polish Open and Mainhatten Cup. It is evident they have intentions of putting on a gold-medal winning performance in Malle.

European Championships runners-up Olena Chynka and Oleksandr Onishchenko have the same intentions as well. The Ukrainians opened the season with a victory at the Cuijk International competition in the Netherlands, giving Reda and Karpinski second place.

But Chinese Taipei’s Huang Yi-Jung and Wen-Sheng Kuo, who won the title at the inaugural Asian Championships last year, will take their talents to the world stage. They won the Starlight Open in Hong Kong in September, and would hope to show they are the strongest couple not just in the Asian region.

The combi Latin class 1 was not contested at the 2015 World Championships in Rome, Italy, and was combined at Kosice 2016. That makes this year’s world title even more valuable. Finland’s Karin and Gustav Antell have plenty of international experience together and opened the season with third place in Cuijk. But Ukraine again is expected to also challenge for the title in Snejana Kernichnaya and Vladimir Kernichny, who finished one better than the Finns in Cuijk.

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.