We are in Rimini, Italy and the second day of the GrandSlam series is soon to commence, but we cannot forget about the excitement that filled the halls of the Rimini Expo Centre just last night! One champion couple Evaldas Sodeika and Ieva Zukauskaite from Lithuania, was selected from 148 couples – achieving the 3rd WDSF GrandSlam title of their careers, making them the undefeated Champions of the 2019 series.
And Round 1 Begins
A total of 16 Star Couples partook in the event, which meant their exclusion from the first round. Round 1, therefore, commenced with 132 pairs taking the floor in 11 heats! Sixty couples made it through directly into Round 2, while the remaining 72 couples received their second chance to make it through into the next round by dancing the redance. From the redance round, 20 additional couples would join the already accepted 60, equaling a total of 80 duos. To this 80, we add the 16-star couples and receive 96 couples dancing Round 2.
Of 96 couples, half were selected into dancing Round 3 – only 48 couples were selected to continue their GrandSlam journey in Rimini. The heat was definitely on, not just in terms of competition, but also because the weather was quite warm altogether inside the arena as well as, of course, outdoors. The summer always packs a punch for the athletes during any competitive event, which means lots of hydration and acute awareness on the part of the organizers to make sure a medical team is on standby at all times in case of any emergencies in such heat during the adrenaline and push of competition.
And then it came down to the quarter-final into which made 25 couples! Roberto Carano and Francesca Francini of Italy made the second GrandSlam quarter-final of their careers! They have only danced 4 GrandSlams together since starting their competitive journey as a team in 2016. Actually, the 2018 Rimini GrandSlam was their first-ever GrandSlam together in which they made the quarter-final – 24th! Now they are back and secured the 22nd position.
Down to the Semi-Final
Then it was down to the top 12, or shall we say the top 13! Once again, the usual count of the next round was increased by one couple. It was a successful evening for Qiu Yuming and Wei Liying of China, who again made the semi. While in Taipei last month, their results jumped down to 19th position in the quarter-final, but they bounced back without a doubt finishing in 10th here in Rimini. Also, the intense battle that usually goes down between Vadim Shurin and Anastasia Meshkova of Latvia and Tomas Fainsil and Violetta Posmetnaya of Germany was concluded with Germany leading in 8th place by only 0.92 of a point, having Latvia finish in 9th. Their roles switched just one month ago when they competed in the Taipei GrandSlam.
The Final Stays the Same
And as predicted, the final six placements were the same as in the previous two GrandSlams of this year.
|1.||Evaldas Sodeika – Ieva Zukauskaite||LIT|
|2.||Francesco Galuppo – Debora Pacini||ITA|
|3.||Evgeny Moshenin – Dana Spitsyna||RUS|
|4.||Alexey Glukhov – Anastasia Glazunova||RUS|
|5.||Vaidotas Lacitis – Veronika Golodneva||LIT|
|6.||Evgeny Nikitin – Anastasia Miliutina||RUS|
The closest scoring of the final was between Alexey Glukhov and Anastasia Glazunova of Russia and Vaidotas Lacitis and Veronika Golodneva of Lithuania, with Russia taking one step before the pedestal by a 0.666 lead.
All of the couples loved the atmosphere exuded by the beautiful Black Arena, known at the Rimini Expo Centre. The Rimini Fair that has been going on since the 4th of July will ultimately conclude today. The four arenas and two theaters of this venue each depict color, which confirms the events taking place and helps the athletes and spectators better orient this massive event. With the décor, lighting, and overall atmosphere, not to mention the grandiose size of this event in general, Rimini has stepped up its game this year to produce a competition that beat all doubts and parameters of capability and possibility. We now await the results of the Latin segment and anticipate how the competitors will take on such a highlighting 2019 event. Stay tuned, everyone!
By Michelle Blank – Consultant & Contributor for FloDance