Evaldas Sodeika & Ieva Zukauskaite Win European Championship

The emotions that overwhelm a long-awaited victory flood in like a hurricane, taking over all sense in a single instant. This was clear once the last score for Evaldas Sodeika and Ieva Zukauskaite was projected onto the screen. The couple just stood there, hugging one another for quite some time. A moment such as this touches the hearts of all spectators, no matter whether they experience such an instance live or through the screen.

The Heat Was On: An Intense Battle for Each Spot

This Standard European Championship of the World DanceSport Federation was held in conjunction with the Latin European Cup, Saturday, May 11, at the 9th Annual Salaspils Open International DanceSport Competition in Latvia. It was a jam-packed day of dancing, filled not only with extraordinary performances, but an endless spectrum of emotions.

In the first round of the championship, a total of 62 couples took the floor. The event continued onto the second round, and then the quarterfinal. The progression of each round proved that the heat was on! 

Looking at the scoring of the quarterfinal deducing into the semi, the difference between places was practically nonexistent. The semifinal could have easily consisted of 13 couples. The difference between Dariusz Mycka and Madara Freiberga of Poland, who made the semi finishing in 12th, and Dmitri Kolobov and Signe Busk of Denmark, who stayed behind in 13th place, rested only on 0.002 of a point! 

This clearly depicts the intensity between the quality in performance of the competitors and how each couple was supported on that dancefloor, a warm atmosphere of spectators cheering on every single dancing duo. The Baltic neighbors of Lithuania and Estonia brought along many audience members who decided to take part in this grand event, and the competitors definitely felt their energy.

Lithuania Takes on the Leadership

The support of the crowd escalated for Lithuanian couple Evaldas Sodeika and Ieva Zukauskaite, the new leaders of the WDSF in the Standard division. They scored in the 39th point percentile for every dance in the final, with 40 points being the absolute highest possible in the scoring system.

Sodeika and Zukauskaite concluded 6.251 points ahead of silver medalists Francesco Galuppo and Debora Pacini of Italy, who were bronze medalists last year in 2018 at the European Championship. Step by step, we are also very sure that sooner or later, we will see these two standing on the highest step of the podium.

Evgeny Nikitin and Anastasia Miliutina of Russia concluded their very first European Championship together yesterday, and finished in fifth place. Right behind them in sixth was Estonian couple Madis Abel and Aleksandra Galkina, who last year finished eighth in the semifinal. This was their first year in the final of the European Championship as adults since last winning the WDSF Youth European Championship in 2014.

Overall, the Salaspils Open proved quite the successful one-day event. Many couples commented on the enjoyment of dancing in front of such a crowd and seemed quite happy with the ending results. Not only the heat of performances, but also the warmth of the supporting crowd demonstrated why dancers love this competition so much and come back year after year as a result. The Salaspils Open was the perfect sanctioning host to take on two major annual events of the WDSF: the 2019 Standard European Championship and the 2019 Latin European Cup.

We will now await the Latin counterpart to the European Championship just two weeks away in Paris. Another grand congratulations to all competitors that took part in yesterday’s competitions and we wish you all the best of luck on your following endeavors!

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