This edition of the World Roller Games come to a close with the Battle Slalom competition. As expected, Russia and China confirm their hegemony. Russia and China have a great future ahead, as both Junior categories show an impressive number of athletes, whose technique is even better than that of some Senior athletes. China, on the other hand, never lets go of the throne in both Senior categories.
The competition started with the Junior women this morning. In the quarter finals, Chinese and Russian athletes get rid of the competition from other countries except for Paula Trigo (ESP) who shows accurate runs and a good technique. However, her level is not high enough to continue in the competition and stops at the 7th place after the semifinals.
During the semifinals, Elizaveta Ivanenko (RUS) and Anna Kukukshina (RUS) get close to the final but finish their competition in 5th. They both show good tricks and nice combos, especially Anna Kukushkina, who is the first girl who executed the “Superman” (a sitting trick with the free leg extended behind). 7th place for Qing Yu Qing (CHN), too: she did some mistakes and loses her balance in her runs.
The big final sees two Russians and two Chinese athletes challenging each other. Sofia Bogdanova (RUS) is shining in this competition, thanks to her perfect technique and a great last trick. She repeats her result from last year and gets her second gold here in Barcelona. Chinese Chen Chu Yao’s runs include very technical tricks and combos but some inaccuracies at the end of the third run stops her from stepping on the podium.
JUNIOR WOMEN PODIUM:
1st Sofia Bogdanova (RUS)
2nd Liu Jia Xin (CHN)
3rd Anna Smirnova (RUS)
As well as in Junior women, Russia and Asian countries prevail in the Junior men category. During the quarter finals, all the athletes show high level technique but while Russians are precise and stable, Chinese, Japanese and Taiwanese are fast and have a really good balance. After the semifinals, we leave Shilov Timofei (RUS) and Chang Wei-Jen (TPE), who finish 5th, Zharkov Mikhail (RUS) and Kwon Neul Chan (KOR).
In the final, three Asians against the last standing Russian amazed the audience with a great challenge. They show their best tricks and their best runs, but the best competitor today has been Gleb Velikanov (RUS). He is the youngest, but strongest: his tricks are clean and well executed, while the last trick is a show of strength. History repeats itself and Gleb confirms his supremacy in battle winning gold again for the second year in a row.
Gu Kun Qi’s runs are very fast and he mixes with ease wheelings and sitting tricks. He finishes second, beating Chou Po Wei from Chinese Taipei, whose runs have some imprecisions.
JUNIOR MEN PODIUM:
1st Gleb Velikanov (RUS)
2nd Gu Kun Qi (CHN)
3rd Chou Po Wei (TPE)
The Senior women category see many great names of the Battle slalom scene leaving the battle ground very early in the competition. Hartmanis Klaudia (POL), Daria Kuznetsova (RUS), currently 1st and 4th in the world ranking are eliminated in the quarter finals and the semifinals respectively.
In the final we see Su Fei Qian (CHN) performing three flawless runs: she seemed like flying between cones. She confirms her supremacy in slalom and wins her second gold here in Barcelona after winning Classic.
Mika Moritoki (JPN) is the real surprise of today’s battle. She never got in a final and she is so happy and excited to be among the finalists that she never stops smiling after her runs. She is really improved compared to the previous years and her reward for this hard work is a shiny silver medal.
Vasilisa Maslova (BLR) shows three good runs but some inaccuracies prevents her from repeating her result from last year. She finishes third despite performing a perfect last trick.
SENIOR WOMEN PODIUM:
1st Su Fei Qian (CHN)
2nd Mika Moritoki (JPN)
3rd Vasilisa Maslova (BLR)
The Senior men category finally sees a final with 3 Europeans out of four competitors but as well as in the Senior women category, many great names finish their competition very early. Just to mention a few names, we see Valerio Degli Agostini (ITA, 3rd in 2018 and 2017) finish 5th and Lorenzo Degli Agostini (ITA, 4th in 2018 and 2nd in Junior category in 2017) finish 13th.
In the final we see the vice world and European champion Lorenzo Guslandi (ITA) perform three almost flawless runs with a good variety of tricks and combo. His perfect last trick stunned the audience. His never-ending challenge with Zhang Hao (CHN) makes this final very exciting as both showed great technique and their level is very close. However, Zhang Hao’s super fast last trick is golden: he wins his third world championship in a row and leaves Lorenzo Guslandi on the lower step of the podium. Third place for Puzanov Artem (RUS) and her three precise runs.
Pau Coll Bosch (SPA) has the support of the Spanish audience and executes three good runs but a fall in the first run and some imprecisions in the second stops him at the feet of the podium. Special mention from the judges for his last trick: he takes a very long run and perform the fastest toe wheeling ever seen in the 120s, turns to left and goes in the 50s, doing almost two lines.
SENIOR MEN PODIUM:
1st Zhang Hao (CHN)
2nd Lorenzo Guslandi (ITA)
3rd Artem Puzanov (RUS)
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For more information: http://www.worldskate.org/wrg2019wrg2019