Tampere 2019: Spotlight on Finland’s finest

Pair of Para dance couples to light up home competition 01 Aug 2019
Male standing dancer performs standard dance with female partner in wheelchair
Finland's Tuuli Harju and Timo Pyykkonen won combi standard and freestyle class 1 bronze at the 2018 European Championships
ⒸJacek Reda
By World Para Dance Sport

Finland’s world champion hopefuls will take centre stage at their home Tampere 2019 Para Dance Sport International Competition from Friday to Sunday.

The event will feature the country’s popular couples of Tuuli Harju with standing partner Timo Pyykkonen; and Zaida-Ester Launiz with Leevi Ketola.

Both are expected to perform a preview of what could come in four months’ time at the 2019 World Championships in Bonn, Germany.

Harju and Pyykkonen are looking to continue the momentum from their golden trio at June’s Mainhatten Cup, where they won the combi freestyle, Latin and standard class 1 events.

It has been a successful season so far for the couple since capturing double bronze at last November’s European Championships. This year, they would target a medal after three tries at a World Championships.

Tampere will be the season opener for Finland’s young duo of Launis and Ketola.

The pair just missed the podiums at the 2018 Europeans but will aim to make it on in this weekend, when they dance in the duo freestyle and standard class 2.

Tampere 2019 will be the third competition on the World Para Dance Sport calendar this season, with 41 athletes from nine countries looking to polish their routines ahead of the season-ending World Championships in Bonn, Germany, from 29 November – 1 December.

The biggest stars will be Filipino reigning world champions Rhea Marquez and Julius Obero. The couple are expected to steal the show in the combi freestyle and Latin 2. However, Nadine Kinczel and Piotr Iwanicki are expected to challenge the Filipinos in the Latin discipline.

Tampere 2019 will be streamed live on YouTube and more information is available on the event website.