This was the night where skaters flew and brought story and passion to life at the 2023 World Artistic Skating Championships in Ibagué, Colombia. The audience was on the edge of their seats at Coliseo Mayor with the Gold Medals on the line with Couples Dance and Pairs.
Team work and commitment were on full display during these exhilarating events. Couples Dance lends itself to story telling through partnership, movement and magnificent skill. When these three things mesh together the audience can feel it deep within their hearts. Pairs is where unison, bravery and technique shine. Skaters soar as they are always willing to push the limit in the name of innovation and trust. With spectacular lifts and a multitude of breathtaking elements these are events the sport can be proud of.
Jeshua Folleco and Maria Paula Muñoz of Colombia skated their way to the Gold Medals in the Junior Couples Dance with ease and profound style. In a historic moment as the first ever Junior Couples Dance World Champions from Colombia. Folleco and Muñoz stepped to the top spot of the podium with 132.14 points and solidified themselves as #1 in the World Skate Rankings. This is the second medal in Ibagué for Folleco. Winning the Silver Medals were Diogo Carvalo and Ema Sousa of Portugal. Skating with wonderful speed to the music of “Alice in Wonderland” they earned 126.40 points. Earning another spot on the podium for Portugal were Diogo Ferreira and Mariana Pinheiro skating to “Starry, Starry Night.” They earned 121.76 points. This is Pinheiro’s second medal of the week after earning Gold in Junior Solo Dance.
Junior Couples Dance
1 Folleco & Muñoz, COL 132.14
2 Carvalo & Sousa, POR 126.40
3 Ferreira & Pinheiro, POR 121.76
Roberta Sasso and Gherardo Altieri of Italy skated with sureness, speed and wonderful technical elements to win the Gold Medals in Senior Couples Dance. Skating to “The Shadow” the team earned 159.86 points. This is Sasso’s second gold in Ibagué. Nicholas Masiero and Martina Nuti of Italy won the Silver Medals. Skating to the music of “Change your Perspective” they displayed unique and engaging choreography with incredible musicality to earn 154.83 points. Completing the Italian sweep of the podium was Caterina Artoni and Raoul Allegranti. Pulling up from 6th place after the Style Dance to a Bronze Medal finish. Displaying beautiful partnering to the music of “Apollo and Daphne” they earned 143.06 points.
Senior Couples Dance
1 Altieri & Sasso, ITA 159.86
2 Masiero & Nuti, ITA 154.83
3 Allegranti & Artoni, ITA 143.06
Winning the Junior Pairs Gold Medal were José Inglese and Matilde Matteucci of Italy. With a long program to “Wednesday” they earned 133.64 points and their first World Title. With the music “Dracula” and winning the Silver Medal were Manuel Cioni and Anna Serafini of Italy. The team captured 124.31 points. Representing Argentina were Gaston Cuello and Julieta Cuvertino who won the Bronze Medals. Skating to “Triton’s Kingdom” the team earned 75.43.
1 Inglese & Matteucci, ITA 133. 64
2 Cioni & Serafini, ITA 124.31
3 Cuello & Cuvertino, ARG 75.43
In Senior Pairs, it was Alice Esposito and Federico Rossi of Italy winning the Gold Medals. Esposito and Rossi have brought so much innovation to the sport and with their long program to “Cantos de Fuego” added the title of World Champion to their names with 205.00 points. Tommaso Cortini and Micol Mills of Italy stepped onto the podium with the Silver Medals. To music of “Yellowstone”, they earned 186.50. The third spot on the podium was earned by Alessandro Bozzini and Alice Piazzi of Italy. With 177.49 points, the team won the Bronze Medals.
1 Rossi & Esposito, ITA 205.00
2 Cortini & Mills, ITA 186.50
3 Bozzini & Piazzi, ITA 177.49
All of the athletes earned points for the important World Skate Rankings.
These events have been contested at the World Championships since 1947. Each generation makes it their own and this year was no different. Divine and dynamic, Pairs and Couples are very special to the great sport of Artistic Skating.
From 11 countries, the competitors in these events deserve the highest of accolades for their commitment to these important disciplines.
Competition is daily. The next medal round will be the 27th of September with the Junior Free Skating Mens and Ladies starting at 13:40 COT at Coliseo Mayor, Parque Deportivo Municipal, Ibagué, Tolima.