Mexico’s Jesus Yermain Angeles Fernandez shook up the competition with a hip-hop performance that earned him the men’s single freestyle class 2 world title at the 2015 Worlds. Two years later, Fernandez is back and looking for another gold at the 2017 World Para Dance Sport Championships in Malle, Belgium, beginning Saturday (21 October).
But the Mexican has not had the luxury of competing at many international competitions since his triumph in Rome. Kazakhstan’s Yermek Kalymbetov is currently ranked No.1 and could show why this weekend.
Ukraine’s Olena Chynka will compete in four events over two days, and one of those events is in the women’s single freestyle class 2. Silver medallists from Rome 2015, Chynka enters Malle holding the 2016 European Championship title, just barely winning that thanks to strong marks in her choreography and difficulty. But Sofie Cox will have home dancefloor advantage, as the Belgian barely missed out on a podium at the Euros in Kosice, Slovakia.
In the women’s class 1, Belarus’ Darya Kulsh will see if her success in the single standard can transfer to freestyle.
Like Cox, Sander Deckx will look to impress in his home country in the men’s single freestyle class 1.
Single and freestyle competitions were introduced at the 2015 World Championships in Rome, Italy. There, only men and women’s single freestyle class 2 events were held. In Malle, class 1 in both men and women’s events will take place.
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.