Rome 2015: Ryzhkova claims double gold

The Russian danced to two world titles on day one of the IPC Wheelchair Dance Sport World Championships. 07 Nov 2015
Man in wheelchair and woman performe.

The 2015 IPC Wheelchair Dance Sport World Championships were held in Rome, Italy.

ⒸDS Photo Dance Sport

“With two gold medals, it is very gratifying.”

Galina Ryzhkova led Russia’s dominance on the dance floor at the 2015 IPC Wheelchair Dance Sport World Championships on Saturday (7 November) in Rome, Italy.

The Russian won two of her country’s eight medals on day one, both which were gold.

Ryzhkova and partner Viacheslav Osipov were nearly flawless in the combi Latin class 2.

Belarus’ Hanna Harchakova and Ihar Kisialiou were close but could not match the perfection of the Russian couple across the five categories, taking the silver. Russia’s Svetlana Kukushkina and Maksim Sedakov came in third.

“We are so happy, it is a great day for us – we feel so tired,” Osipov said. “With two gold medals, it is very gratifying.”

Ryzhkova also dazzled in the women’s singles class 2, taking a historic first world title in the singles discipline. Ukraine’s Olena Chynka took the silver, and Russia’s Aleksandra Berdnik claimed the bronze.

In the class 1 equivalent, Ukraine’s Illona Slugovyna put on the best show and took home the world title. Belarus’ Darya Kulsh claimed the silver, and Russia’s Anastasia Vasilenko followed with the bronze medal.

“This medal is a great victory upon myself,” Slugovyna said. “I am glad I can still show my emotions and what I am capable of doing.”

Mexico’s Jesus Yermain Angeles Fernandez’s hip-hop performance was one to remember as he wowed the judges in the men’s single freestyle class 2.

Russia’s Dimitry Torgunakov took the silver, and South Korea’s Jongchui Choi completed the podium.

Belarus also put on a strong performance on Saturday, claiming four medals. Kulsh and her partner Aliaksandr Liakhovich managed to outperform Slovakia’s Helena Kasicka and Peter Vidasic for gold in the combi Latin class 1.

“We feel very brave to have won [four medals],” said Kulsh, who is in just her second competition with partner Liakhovich. “It is good for the sport in our country.”

Bronze medallists Hanna Siratsiuk and Ihar Kuliashou added to Belarus’ medal count with the bronze.

The combi freestyle class 1 went to Slovakian couple Kasicka and Vidasic. South Korea’s Hie-Jeang Jang and Lee Young Ho took the silver, and Israel’s Anna Vaishbein and Gil Mazor rounded the podium with the bronze medal.

The duo standard class 1 crown went to South Korea’s Hie-Jeang Jang and Lee Young Ho, who were the judges’ clear favourite. Slugovyna and her partner Valeriy Bevzyuk sealed the silver.

Mexico again reached the podium with the performance of Maria Antonia Pena Anguiano and Ernesto Edoardo Nunez Medellin, taking the bronze medal.

Russia owned the duo standard class 2, with Aleksandra Berdnik and Sergey Antonov sealing the title, followed by compatriots Irina Gordeeva and Torgunakov. The Ukranian husband-wife duo of Nadiia and Ivan Sivak claimed bronze.

The 2015 IPC Wheelchair Dance Sport World Championships conclude on Sunday (8 November) with seven medal events. For more information, visit the event website

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