Malle 2017: Duo standard preview

Polish, Ukrainian couples are expected to dance off for gold 17 Oct 2017
A man and woman in wheelchairs dancing
Ukraine's Illona Slugovyna and Valeriy Bevzyuk perform in the duo standard class 1 during the 2016 IPC Wheelchair Dance Sport European Championships in Kosice, Slovakia.
ⒸRoman Benicky

Of the five dances that make up the duo standard, Ukraine’s Illona Slugovyna and Valeriy Bevzyuk are expected to delight the judges with their tango and Vienna waltz at the 2017 World Para Dance Sport Championships beginning Saturday (21 October).

Slugovyna and Bevzyuk have shown in the past that those are their strongest areas; they received perfect marks at the 2016 European Championships in Kosice, Slovakia, where they won the gold medal in the class 1 event. Those were also their strongest performances at the last World Championships edition in Rome, Italy. But this weekend, they would hope to do one better than their silver medal from Rome 2015.

Their toughest couple is expected to come from compatriots Snejana Kernichnaya and Vladimir Kernichny, who finished runners-up at the Europeans; as well at the Cuijk International competition in the Netherlands this year. Finland’s sister-brother duo of Karin and Gustav Antell are also podium contenders.

In the duo standard class 2, watch for Poland’s Joanna Reda and Pawel Karpinski; and Ukraine’s Olena Chynka and Oleksandr Onischenko. Reda and Karpinski just missed the podium at Rome 2015, but have improved vastly since then, winning this year at the Polish Open and Mainhatten Cup. But do not count out defending Asian champions Hye-Jeong Jang and Youngho Lee.

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.