More than 50 dancers from 11 countries, including some of the world’s top ranked athletes, will compete in Hasselt, Belgium, from Saturday (1 October), in the final competition ahead of two major regional Championships in Asia and Europe.
Slovakia’s Helena Kasicka and Peter Vidasic, the current No.1 couple and European champions in the combi freestyle class 1, will face a challenge from compatriots Maria Gadzikova and Maros Olejar who are third in the world.
Both pairings are working towards their home IPC Wheelchair Dance Sport European Championships, taking place in Kosice from 28 October.
Kasicka and Vidasic are also the leaders in the combi standard class 1 following an exceptional 2016. But Finland’s Tuuli Harju and Timo Pyykkonen will try to out-dance them.
Polish dancers will aim to impress in the class 2 events, as Joanna Reda and Pawel Karpinski and Katarzyna Bloch and Marek Zaborowski go for gold.
Reda and Karpinski have accumulated more than 70 points this season, but trail Austrian leaders Brigitte Kroell and Werner Kaiser in the duo Latin class 2.
Meanwhile Bloch and Zaborowski are the highest ranked couple to compete in the combi standard class 2, travelling to Belgium as the world No.2 pairing.
South Korea’s Hye-Jeong Jang and Youngho Lee are entering the final phases of their preparations for the first IPC Wheelchair Dance Sport Asian Championships, set for 5-6 November in Chinese Taipei.
The couple will go for historic golds in class 1 events, particularly the duo standard where they are ranked No.2 in the world.
The singles events continue to draw a strong field.
Austria’s women’s single and single freestyle class 2 world No. 1 Sanja Vukasinovic will be aiming to reach the podium at the European Championships in Kosice.
In Hasselt, Vukasinovic will dance against Belgium’s Sophie Cox, the European freestyle bronze medallist from 2014.
Also flying the flag for Austria is top ranked athlete Robert Pleininger in the men’s single class 2, whilst Sander Deckx will compete for Belgium as the world No.3 in the class 1 category.
Results from Hasselt will be available at the IPC Wheelchair Dance Sport’s website.