The first medals of this WRG were awarded today in the Slides and Free Jump competitions.
The women category of the slides competition was dominated by Russia: 6 skaters out of 15 were russian, while the others come from Ukraine, Spain, China, Hong Kong. For the first time Latin America competed in the Inline Freestyle World Championship with a skater from Colombia and one from Argentina.
After tough qualifications and semifinals, the four finalists are Bohdana Hotsko (UKR), former World Champion, Olga Fokina (RUS), bronze medal at the European Championship 2018, Anna Kukushkina (RUS) and Efimova Alena (RUS).
All the competitors showed a high technical level, but shorter slides stop Efimova Alena who gets 4th. Kukushina and Hotsko performed fast and stable slides but their performance lack of accuracy compared to Fokina’s, who lead the competition thanks to her experience. In the end, Olga Fokina (RUS) gets the first place and gold medal again, after a difficult 2018. Bohdana Hotsko (UKR), is second and the young Kukushkina Anna (RUS) is third.
In the men category, the favorites were Huang Hai Yang (CHN, winner of WRG 2017), Senarat Phuri (THA) and Rubio Mesas Enrique (ESP, world and european champion 2018). The Chinese and the Spanish skaters met in a very difficult group during the quarter finals and made it to the finals together with Senarat Phuri and Telehin Andrii (UKR), who never participated into a world championship. Shirobokov Denis (RUS), second at the world and the European championships 2018 left the competition in the quarter finals due to a lack of accuracy during his runs.
During the final round the four athletes showed the real essence of slides: speed, accuracy and strenght. Telehin Andrii showed slower slides compared to the other three competitors but despite a great accuracy he finished 4th.
Huang Hai Yang misses a slide and lost his balance during one of his runs. He finished third even though he showed very difficult slides.
The gold medal was finally awarded to Senarat Phuri, who finally managed to win a world championship showing the fastest and longest slides in this competition, while Enrique Rubio finished 2nd.
Despite the entry jumps being 70cm for women and 90cm for men, the majority of skaters of both categories skipped until 95cm and 130cm respectively.
The real competition for women started at 115cm, with 6 skaters out of 16 still competing. 115cm is also the moment when Awa Baldé (SEN - winner of WRG 2017) and Maeliss Conan (FRA - 2nd last year) start to jump, after skipping all the previous jumps. The competition showed a general improvement in the women category in just 2 years, as the latest world record was 122cm.
Marina Oliveras despite the support of the Spanish audience fails at 125cm and gets the bronze medal. Maeliss Conan improves her personal record jumping 125cm but fails 130cm and is awarded with a silver medal, while Senegal, after winning WRG 2017 strikes again in the women category: Awa Baldé jumps 130cm at her second try. She wins gold and improves her personal best of 5cm compared to the previous edition of WRG. She also showed a great command of both jumping techniques as she changed to zulu jumps at 120cm.
In the men category, the two main obstacles are 130cm and 145cm, when many skaters left the competition.
There are 3 skaters left at 155cm, which was the result of last year world championship: Dame Fall (SEN, winner WRG 2017), Sarr Jean Pierre Ngor (SEN) and Florian Petitcollin (FRA, world champion 2018 and world record holder).
At 160cm the competition is still open as Florian Petitcollin and Dame Fall pass at their first try. Jean Pierre Ngor Sarr fails and wins the bronze medal. Between the french and the senegalese the competition is tough and they continue jumping until 164cm. They both fail at this height, but thanks to a cleaner competition, Florian Petitcollin is awarded with a gold medal on his birthday, while Dame Fall gets a silver medal.
A double present for Florian, as he also improves her personal and world record of 162cm.
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