Memorable Performances Close World Para Dance Sport Championships

Action at the World Para Dance Sport Championships (Photo: International Paralympic Committee)

MALLE, Belgium – The final day of competition at the World Para Dance Sport Championships saw some stunning performances and titles defended in a phenomenal day of dancing in Malle, Belgium on Sunday.

Filipino duo Rhea Marquez and Jun Julius Obero defended their combi freestyle class 2 in dramatic circumstances, drawing rapturous applause from the crowd for their performance to Roxette’s It Must Have Been Love. The win for the pair was especially impressive with Marquez struggling with an injured shoulder throughout the event, which was especially bothering her on Sunday. The other medalists were Kiyomi Otake and Koichi Omae of Japan, and Kazakh pair Malika Muktarova and Vladislav Sahno.

It was a Ukrainian double in the combi freestyle class 1 with Natalia Chekhonatska and Pavlo Ivliushkin just beating out fellow Ukraine duo Veronika Pedchenko and Valeriy Bevzyuk. The Eastern European podium was completed by Kazakhstan pair Aidana Beglenova and Ardak Otorbayev.

Ukrainian success continued in the women’s freestyle class 2 with Olena Chynka managing a beautiful performance to claim the gold easily, winning her fourth gold of the event. Mexican Haydee Guadalupe Guerrero Reynosa managed her silver while young Kazakh dancer Malika Muktarova delighted the crowd with her performance of The Weather Girls’ It’s Raining Men earning bronze for her performance.

Mexico continued to be a strong force in the singles freestyle dances, with Jesus Yermain Angeles Fernandez defending his title in the men’s single freestyle class 2. The win reflected his diversity of dance, having won in 2015 with hip hop, switching to jazz in 2017. It was a tight finish with Fernandez finishing just ahead of Japanese dancer Koichi Omae, while another medal came to Ukraine with Ivan Sivak finishing in third.

There was an interesting performance in the women’s single freestyle class 1 with Kazakh dancer Karlygash Tynabekova doing a risky Bollywood performance which was rewarded by the judges with the gold. Ukraine continued its impressive form in the freestyle performances as Natalia Chekhonatska and Snejana Kernichnaya finishing out the podium.

There was a Belarusian double in the combi standard events, with Iryna Makeichyk and Yauhen Yarmoshka winning in class 1, with Ukrainians Illona Slugovyna and Andrii Tovstyi in second and Kazakhs in third with Beglenova and Otorbayev. For the Kazakhs it was their second bronze medal not just of the meet, but of just the day.

In class 2 Hanna Harchakova claimed her second straight title, partnering with Roman Usmanov to win all five standard dances for a big win. Korean duo Juhee Hwang and Kangwon Cho came second with Slovakian Maria Dutkova and Martin Solc rounding out the podium.

Hong Kong’s Ma Wah Keung won the men’s class 1 freestyle with Slovenian Amir Alibabic and Korean Daeson Kim completing the podium.


World Para Taekwondo Championships get Underway With Upsets

Amy Trusdale (GBR) on her way to gold (Photo: World Taekwondo)

LONDON, Eng., United Kingdom – The World Para Taekwondo Championships got underway with a thrilling opening day at the Copper Box in London on Thursday with home wins and upsets the order of the day.

The home crowd was happy with British champion Amy Truesdale became a world champion in the women’s K44 over 58kg category. Truesdale came in as the favorite and, unlike many, avoided an upset, winning after Moroccan Rajae Akermach had to withdraw due to injury while losing 17-3.

Shocks came in the men’s K44 over and over again with the world number two, American Corbin Stacey, and world number three, Iranian Asghar Aziziaghdam eliminated in the first round of competition. The world number one Evan Medell of the USA was eliminated by Croatian defending champion Ivan Mikulic in the semifinal producing another shock. But in the final he couldn’t defend his title with Russian Aliskhab Ramazanov claiming the win with a big 35-19 win.

The women’s K44 up to 58kg classification saw Danish fighter Lisa Gjessing claim her fourth title, maintaining her perfect record. Gjessing demolished the Russian Ayshat Ramazanova 34-9 to win the gold, with her two daughters in the crowd.

The final event of the day was the men’s K43 up to 61kg category and there was yet another upset in that event as Frenchman Bopha King did not manage to win. He was beaten in the final by Spaniard Vidal Alvarez in an impressive performance.

The most notable other performance of the day went to an athlete who managed to avoid the string of stunning upsets with Iranian Mahdi Pourrahnama continuing his hot run of form in the K44 up to 75kg category for gold there.

Para Taekwondo World Rankings Updated Ahead of World Championships

SEOUL, Korea Republic – World Para Taekwondo has released the World Rankings for October, with the World Championships coming up beginning on the 19th of October the rankings list reveals the favourites for the different events.

Following the Pan Am Open in September, the rankings have changed again with a number of South, Central, and North American athletes leaping up the rankings.

Argentinian Facundo Andres Novik jumped up six places in the men’s under 61kg K44 rankings to come into the World Championships ranked third in the world. The biggest mover in the rankings was Costa Rican Edwin Pizarro who moved up 12 points to come up to 11th while Larrando Dreke became the first Cuban fighter to get a ranking, coming in at 24th.

In the men’s 75kg rankings Russian Vladimir Feofanov jumped up to 5th after previously sitting in 11th, while the biggest mover was Costa Rican Andres Molina, jumping seven spots to seventh. American Felix Sabates finds himself in second jumping up from fifth after his performance in Costa Rica.

American Evan Medell has finally taken the world number one ranking in the men’s over 75kg K44 division with his third title of the season. The biggest mover in the division was fellow American Johnny Birch who jumped up 20 places to sit in 10th in a tight division.

Guatemalan Gersson Mejia moved into the top three of the under 61kg K43 division jumping two positions up. In the Under 75kg K42 American Daniel Espinosa jumped to fourth after winning the Pan Am championship.

Peruvian Leonor Espinoza Carranza entered the women’s under 49kg rankings after winning her first career title at the Pan Ams, jumping into the rankings in eighth place. Another first time winner, Mexican Jessica Garcia Quijano entered the rankings in sixth in the women’s under 58kg K44 classification.

In the women’s over 58kg K44 division American Alyssa Fencil was the biggest mover, jumping up eight positions to fifth after winning the Pan Am title. The world championships will take place at the Copper Box Arena in London on the 19th of October.

IPC Reschedules Para Swimming and Powerlifting World Championships

MEXICO CITY, Mexico – The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has announced new dates for the World Para Swimming and World Para Powerlifting Championships to be held in Mexico City as the 2017 Para Sport Festival.

The events were postponed due to the earthquake in Mexico City last month and will now take place from the 27th of November to the 7th of December. Both events will remain in Mexico City with no worries about the venues being damaged in the earthquake.

Originally the event was slated to begin on the 30th of September through to the 6th of October, but the earthquake which hit Mexico City on the 19th of September made it an unsafe environment to host the event, leading to the postponement.

After announcing the changed event date teams now have a new date to submit their final squads to the IPC, they will have until Sunday (October 8th) to finalize and register their squads ahead of the events.

“After extensive dialogue, it is clear that both the Local Organising Committee and City Mexico are eager and very passionate about rescheduling the 2017 Para Sport Festival,” said IPC President Andrew Parsons. They want to show to the world that Mexico City is open and that life and business is continuing. At the same time, the feedback from the IPC membership is that they are keen for the Championships to go ahead.”

“After carrying out all of the necessary safety checks on the venues, team hotels and all related infrastructure, we have decided to reschedule the Championships for two months later than originally planned.”

The decision was taken as part of solidarity with Mexico City, to continue the IPCs effort to support the city as it recovers from the earthquake, with the Agitos Foundation raising $40,000.


Fast Times Posted in Repechage day at World Rowing Championships





SARASOTA, Fla., USA – The World Rowing Championships continued with a day of Repechage races at Nathan Benderson Park at Sarasota on Wednesday.

The PR1 Men’s Single Sculls started with a dramatic comeback in the first repechage heat with Pascal Daniere of France shooting out to a big lead in the first half of the race. But that lead was slashed as Lithuanian Augustas Navickas came back, and managed to eventually push in front and get the lead to qualify for the A/B Semifinals with Austrian Klaus Dolleschal relegating Daniere to third, the three qualifying for the A/B Semifinals.

American Blake Haxton cruised to the win in the second heat, having missed qualifying without the repechage by the narrowest of margins he looked to make a point winning by a margin of 30 seconds. He was joined in the A/B Semifinals by Johannes Schmidt of Germany and Italian Simone Baldini with those two finishing well clear of the final two to advance to the A/B Semifinals.

Haxton getting such a win was absolutely vital, as he now avoids the defending champion and fastest racer in the event, Australian Erik Horrie in the semifinal. That fate falls to Daniere who pays a heavy price for falling back so badly in his repechage, drawing lane one in the tougher semifinal.

The final para race of the day was simply a preliminary race to decide seeding for the PR3 Mixed Double Sculls final on Saturday. The French pair of Antoine Jesel and Guylaine Marchand claimed the win in a new World Championships Best time of 7:53.70 to get the best lane for the final. Brazil and Germany will be next to the French pair.

Alfie Hewett Through to US Open Final

NEW YORK CITY – Two opponents who knew each other well did battle in the US Open semi-final, with Gordon Reid taking on Alfie Hewett in an all-British final on Saturday afternoon at the Grandstand court at the USTA Center in New York.

After two early breaks a piece, Reid broke to make it 4-3 with a love receiving game to claim that break and take charge of the set. At 15-30, down 5-4, Hewett hit a phenomenal return to get break point and claim the game to level it at 5-5, forcing extra games in the set. From there Hewett won two straight games, claiming the first set, thanks to two straight breaks to claim the first set 7-5.

Things continued to be tight in the second set, with the first five games of the set going on serve, before Hewett managed a break with two strong returns to make it 4-2. But Reid fought back, with a similar comeback and won the set 7-5 to force a third set.

That then saw the world number two take firm control of the match as he just tore apart his doubles partner to take a 4-0 lead in the set before Hewett held serve to give himself some hope, quickly winning three straight. That saw Hewett push the match to a third set tiebreak, to decide which of the two British men would advance to the final Grand Slam final of the year.

The tiebreak would prove just as competitive as the rest of the match, Hewett saved match point three times at 6-3 down in the tie break, before he got match point at 8-7. Reid would save that one but couldn’t save the next, falling 10-8 in the tiebreak, giving Hewett the 7-5, 5-7, 7-6 win knocking out the world number two, and his doubles partner, Gordon Reid.

WADA Releases Requirements for Russia to Return to Compliance

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has released a significant document in the process of Russian Paralympic reinstatement as they released the “Roadmap to Compliance”.

Should the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) comply with all these requirements, they would be reinstated as a member of WADA. While that wouldn’t necessarily see Russia’s Paralympic Committee reinstated but it would go a long way to getting their status back.

Continue reading “WADA Releases Requirements for Russia to Return to Compliance”