There it is! Dmitry Zharkov and Olga Kulikova take their fourth title as undefeated WDSF Standard World Champions, the first couple to ever win a WDSF World Championship four years in a row! Not only did they make history, but they also paved the way for upcoming generations to aim for even higher goals in their competitive careers.
Dmitry and Olga, representing the Russian Federation, made their country proud here in Vienna, Austria. Their score was 6.166 points above our Vice-Champions from Lithuania, Evaldas Sodeika and Ieva Zukauskaite. Dancing together since 2003, this Russian duo was truly the spotlight of the night. They proved yet again how their dedication and passion towards this sport made their dreams become a reality.
Heat All Through the Night
Aside from the crowing champions, the Austrian crowd was truly going wild for each and every couple on that dance floor here at the Multiversum Schwechat. Usually when the quarter-final heats contain a total of 24 couples, the quarter-final of this World Championship contained 25 couples! The heat was definitely on and no one was to back down!
Winson Tam and Anastasia Novikova, for example, representing the country of Canada, made this year’s quarter-final, placing 22nd, when last year they placed 27th, not making the quarters. Andres Liiv and Kristin Vaha of Estonia placed 26th last year and now made the quarter-final, placing 18th. Little by little, step by step, the journey to the top is a long one, but reaping the rewards makes this long journey worth it without question.
As the quarter-final transitioned into the semi-finals, instead of the usual 12 candidate couples, we saw 13 that made it through! Pasquale Farina and Sofie Koborg of Denmark made it, advancing from 14th in the quarter-final last year to 12th this year.
It may have been a difficult day for Vadim Shurin and Anastasia Meshkova of Latvia who took 13th just yesterday when last year they successfully placed higher in 9th place. David Odstrcil and Tara Bohak of the Czech Republic made an excellent rise from 17th last year to 11th place this year! The same goes for Daniil Ulanov and Kateryna Isakovych of Cyprus who were 15th last year and 9th in this World Championship, two slots away from the final!
Last but not least, let us take a look at the final standings of this 2018 WDSF Standard World Championship.
Dmitry Zharkov - Olga Kulikova
Evaldas Sodeika - Ieva Zukauskaite
Francesco Galuppo - Debora Pacini
Evgeny Moshenin - Dana Spitsyna
Vaidotas Lacitis - Veronika Golodneva
Anton Skuratov - Alena Uehlin
It is quite clear that the strongest couples in the Standard division of the World DanceSport Federation arise from the countries of Russia and Lithuania. As stated earlier, Evaldas and Ieva finally took their role as Vice-Champions of the World for the first time in their careers, with last year’s Vice-Champions now in the Professional Division of the World Dance Council. This also made way for another couple to enter the final, a couple from Germany. Anton Skuratov and Alena Uehlin finally made it!
Aside from the excitement taking place on the dance floor, another important event took place here in Vienna, Austria for the World DanceSport Federation. Mr. Shawn Tay was finally transferred to the role of the President of the WDSF during the evening’s opening ceremony by former President Lukas Hinder.
Last night was a night of many new beginnings, not only for the dancers of the World DanceSport Federation but for the Federation as a whole. From a new President to undefeated reigning World Champions, the industry keeps on growing and spreading the beauty of DanceSport throughout the World. A huge congratulations not only to the champions, Dmitry and Olga, but to all of the athletes chasing their dreams at this current moment. You are the future.