The hosts of the first IPC Wheelchair Dance Sport World Cup in St. Petersburg, Russia, claimed seven golds last weekend (5-6 September), including three for star performer Galina Ryzhkova.
Ryzhkova and her teammates look in great shape ahead of November’s 2015 IPC Wheelchair Dance Sport World Championships in Rome, Italy, taking victories across singles and couples events.
European champion Ryzhkova lead her team to the top of the medals table with consistent scores over 9.00 from the judges for technical skills and choreography and presentation in the women’s single freestyle class 2.
Compatriot Alla Smelova was second whilst Kazakhstan’s Nargiza Akhmetova was third.
It was a similar story in the women’s single conventional class 2, as Ryzhkova recorded a flawless fourth dance to take the win. Teammates Aleksandra Berdnik and Nursina Galieva rounded off the podium to continue the Russia medal haul.
Ryzhkova completed the triple with the win in the combi Latin class 2 with Viacheslav Osipov, leading teammates Svetlana Kukushina and Maksim Sedakov and South Korea’s Eunji Lee and Youngho Lee into the top three.
Kukushina and Sedakov swapped places with Ryzkhova and Osipov in the combi freestyle class 2, with Slovenians Barbara Samperl and Klemen Pirman getting in on the action with bronze.
Berdnik, with partner Sergey Antonov, and Galieva, coupled with Evgenii Gusev then went onto to take the top two places in the duo Latin class 2. Austria sealed a medal courtesy of Miriam Labus and Patrick Berger.
Irina Gordeeva and Dmitry Torgunakov were the leading Russian couple in the duo standard class 2, whilst Berdnik and Antonov took their third medal with silver. Labus and Berger were also in great form to take their next podium in third.
Tatiana Skvortsova and partner Stanislav Sheshukov were victorious in the combi standard class 2 ahead of fellow Russians Gulnaz Akbasheva and Vitalii Morozov.
The Belarusian pairing of Iryna Makeichyk and Yauhen Yarmoshka completed the podium.
South Korea had a strong showing just two months away from the World Championships, with two golds in couple’s events.
World No. 2’s Hye-Jeong Jang and Jaewoo Lee were successful in the combi standard class 1. Belarus made it onto the podium thanks to Veranika Kasach and Aliaksei Zukhtsikau, and there was another medal for Russia from Anastasia Vasilenko and Kirill Kiryukhantsev.
Jang, this time dancing with Youngho Lee, won the duo standard class 1. Mexico will be pleased with their silver medal from Maria Antonia Anguiana Pena and Eduardo Medellin Nunez whilst Ruzanna Kazarian and Aleksei Fotin were third for Russia.
Belarus also enjoyed double gold as Darya Kulsh was in form both on her own and with partner Aliaksandr Liakhovich.
Kulsh was the leader in the women’s single conventional class 1, ahead of Russians Anstasia Vasilenko and Iulia Iuvshina in silver and bronze respectively.
Then alongside Liakhovic, Kulsh topped an all Belarusian podium with Hanna Siratsiuk and Ihar Kuliashou leading Veranika Kasach and Aliaksei Zukhtsikau into silver and bronze in the combi Latin class 1.
Israel danced gracefully to the victory in the combi freestyle class 1 with Anastasiya Branginsky and Meni Glass. Holly Yau Tin Sing and partner Chau Wong Wo and Man Ho Hei and Keung Ma Wah took the silver and bronze respectviely back to Hong Kong, China.
In the men’s singles conventional class 1 Germany’s European champion Erik Machens looks unbeatable, taking another victory over Russians Maksim Sedakov and Sergey Antonov.
Next stop for dancers is Hasselt, Belgium, between 24-25 October before the World Championships get underway on 6-8 November.