South Korean dancers made history between 5-6 November, winning six gold medals to top the medals table at the first IPC Wheelchair Dance Sport Asian Championships in New Taipei City, Chinese Taipei.
The combi Latin class 2 saw an all-South Korean top three, led by Youngho Lee and Youngseon Park.
Their samba was the judges’ favourite, scoring top marks from all but one adjudicator and leading to their No. 1 placing across all dances.
Sungbeom Kang and Yunmi Jung collected silver ahead of Duck Kim Hyun and Jihee Kim with bronze.
South Koreans Chaeyoung Son and Jongchul Choi triumphed in the combi freestyle class 2, with Kazakhstan’s Kulshum Atalykova and Dastan Raushanbekov second. Kang and Jung made it onto the podium once again, this time claiming bronze.
Choi was also the victor in the men’s single class 2 with a waltz and rumba that impressed the judges. Lee and Kang completed the podium in second and third respectively.
South Korea’s Changwoo Han won all but one of his rounds in the men’s single class 1, only dropping to second place in the tango.
Hong Kong’s Keung Ma Wah claimed silver. Japan’s Ada Mitsuteru was third.
Jaewoo Lee and Hye-Jeong Jang contributed to South Korea’s gold medal haul in the combi standard class 1. Kazakhstan’s Ardak Otorbayev and Aidana Beglenova were second, followed by South Korea’s Seoungmin Jin and Oknam Noh.
Jang then danced with Youngho Lee, claiming victory in the duo standard class 1 and 2. The judges marked them first in all dances, but it was their waltz, tango, and Viennese waltz that particularly stood out.
Chinese Taipei’s Wen-sheng Kuo and Yi-Jung Huang, and Chin-Tang Hung and Hsin-Yu Lin were second and third for the hosts, going on to win further medals.
Kuo and Huang doubled their podium haul with gold in the duo Latin class 2. Hung and Lin sealed the silver. Kazakhstan’s Malika Muktarova and Raushanbekov were third.
There was further joy for the home crowd in combi standard class 2, thanks to gold for Huan-Jan Wu and Chun-Lan Yang.
Their flawless performance only fell slightly short in the quick-step, where the judges felt they were second to eventual silver medallists Choi and Son who claimed their second podium of the competition for South Korea.
The judges were unanimous in their decision to hand Hong Kong’s Chun Choi Man and Evina Wong Wai King the bronze.
Kazakhstan took two Asian titles home from Chinese Taipei.
Sixteen-year-old Muktarova took her first major title in what was only her first season on the international circuit. Muktarova led the way in all five dances in the women’s single class combined class 1 and 2.
Chinese Taipei’s were second with Lin, followed into third by Hong Kong’s Susanna So Tze Yan.
Yermek Kalymbetov claimed the men’s single freestyle combined class 1 and 2 for Kazakhstan. South Korea’s Jongchul Choi and Chinese Taipei’s Sheng-Tsun Kao completed the top three with silver and bronze respectively.
Hong Kong’s Man Ho Hei and Keung took gold in the combi freestyle class 1. Jang and Lee secured their second medal with silver. Hong Kong’s Holly Sin ting and Wong Wo Chau grabbed another medal for Hong Kong.
Complete results from the 2016 IPC Wheelchair Dance Sport Asian Championships can be found at IPC Wheelchair Dance Sport’s website.