Nearly 30 dancers from 26 countries will compete in the 2015 IPC Wheelchair Dance Sport Kazakhstan Open in Astana from Saturday (18 April), as the 2015 season gets underway.
The hosts will be well represented by Ardak Otorbyev and Aidana Beglenova, top ten world rankings finishers from 2014 in the combi standard class 1.
In the duo standard class 2, Austrian’s Brigitte Kroell and Werner Kaiser will be aiming to improve on their fourth place finish in the 2014 world rankings. They are the highest ranking couple from their classification to enter the Open, which runs until Sunday (19 April).
Kroell and Kaiser will also enter the duo Latin class 2 as the seventh-place finishers from last season.
The Russian pairing of Svetlana Kukushkina and Maksim Sedakov headline the combi Latin class 2 field, after winning silver at the 2014 IPC Wheelchair Dance Sport European Championships in Lomianki, Poland, in November.
Sedakov is also representing his country in the men’s singles events, which enter their second season on the programme in 2015. Sedakov added to his podium from the couple’s events with another silver at Lomianki 2014 in the men’s single class 2.
The women’s event will see Russian 2014 world No.1 Galina Rhyzkova dance against No.4 Austrian Sanja Vukasinovic.
Georgia will also make their competitive debut in wheelchair dance in Astana, with Ketevan Zazanashvili and partner Timor Arabidze.
Other dancers are expected from Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong China, as the sport expands its reach in Asia.