The 2023 Artistic Skating World Championships has kicked off in golden and historic ways in Ibagué, Colombia with Junior and Senior Solo Dance for Ladies and Men. Host country Colombia was delighted as their flag made its way to the podium.
Defending champions, past champions and rising stars all brought passion to the floor. The Medals in question came down to the Free Dance Segment. Free Dance has five required elements along with the four very important Components that make the story complete. Emotions were high and the skating was brilliant at Coliseo Mayor, Parque Deportivo Municipal and history was made.
Junior Ladies Solo Dance kicked off the day with the Gold Medal performance by Mariana Pinheiro of Portugal. Capturing the essence of Mulan to a free dance of “Reflection”, Pinheiro earned 138.33 points. Greta Pani of Italy won the Silver Medal with wonderful grace and a lyrical quality. To the music of “Let It Be”, Pani captured 126.66 points. Linda Catalini, the #2 skater in the World Skate Rankings had a powerful skate. Earning 121.09 points to “History of March, 8-Women’s Day”, Catalani of Italy won the Bronze Medal.
1. Mariana Pinheiro, POR 138.33
2. Greta Pani, ITA 126.66
3. Linda Catalini, ITA 121.09
Diogo Costa of Portugal arrived to the competition as #2 in the World Skate Rankings. Costa goes home as the Junior Men Solo Dance World Champion. A strong and distinctive performance to “Tree of Life” gave Costa 127.25 points and the Gold Medal. Jeshua Folleco of Colombia took a step on the podium and the Silver Medal. A very special and engaging skater, Folleco earned 124.48 points to a brilliant free dance to “Entre el clavel y la espanda” to the delight of the home country audience. Rounding out the podium was Francesco Vittuari. With an expressive skate to “The Eagle” gave Vittuari of Italy 120.28 points and the Bronze Medal.
1. Diogo Costa, POR 127.25
2.Jeshua Folleco, COL 124.48
3. Francesco Vittuari, ITA 120.28
Senior Ladies Solo Dance was exquisite. Roberta Sasso of Italy stepped up to win the Gold Medal with a stunning free dance. Sasso won her first Senior World Title with 152.36 points to the music of “To My Aunt.” Winning the Silver Medal is Natalia Baldizzone of Spain. A beautifully complete skater, Baldizzone earned 150.04 points to the “Four Elements.” Winning the Bronze Medal and the first ever Senior medal at a World Championships for Paraguay is Erika Alarcon. With her joy-filled quality skating to the “Experience”, Alarcon earned 146.65 points.
1. Roberta Sasso, ITA 152.36
2. Natalia Baldizzone, ESP 150.04
3. Erika Alarcon, PAR 146.65
Senior Men Solo Dance was a true battle of champions. With just over two points separating the top three placements, it was an evening of compelling skating. After brilliant free dances it was Pedro Walgode of Portugal on top of the podium. Walgode’s Gold Medal performance to “The Devil vs The Cowboy: A Violin Duel” was filled with his quick-witted choreography and sure style earning 156.78 points. Llorenç Alvarez of Spain won the Silver Medal. Alvarez’s intriguing program to “Scorpion” proved why he is a consistent presence on the podium. Colombian Brayan Carreño brought his home country crowd to their feet. With a distinctive ease Carreño skated outstanding to “La Vida de un Deportista” while earning 155.51 points and the Bronze Medal.
1. Pedro Walgode, POR 156.78
2. Llorenç Alvarez, ESP 156.14
3. Brayan Carreño, COL 155.51
With extraordinary work from the skaters and coaches on Components, audiences and officials are now witnessing not only the strongest skaters in the world, but some of the most incredible performing artists as well. It is this combination of the two that makes artistic skating one of the most special sports in the world.
Congratulations to all the solo dance skaters. And a special welcome to all the new 2023 World Champions that now have their names rightfully written in the record books.
Competition is daily. The next medal round will be the 23rd of September with the Junior and Senior Inline Free Skating starting at 18:55 COT at Coliseo Mayor, Parque Deportivo Municipal, Ibagué, Tolima.