And we are back! Off to Italy we travel as we come to stream live the third GrandSlam leg of the year. To be exact, we will be on the eastern coast of the country in the town of Rimini. This is the second year that a GrandSlam will be hosted in this seaside community in a country known for its art, fashion, vespas, pizza, and pasta, as well as impeccable performance in the world of competitive dance.
The Annual Supreme Rimini Fair
This Saturday, July 13, the first group of GrandSlam participants, our Standard couples, will take the floor at the Rimini Expo Center. The Federazione Italiana Danza Sportiva, or Italian Federation of Dancesport (FIDS), is taking part in what is known as the annual Rimini Fair, an anticipated occasion to make way for more than 19,000 athletes and 200,000 spectators. From the July 4 to 14, 11 days of nonstop dance and performance will take place in four arenas and two theaters, with the Italian DanceSport Championships making up only a small part of all of the fun. The GrandSlams this weekend therefore claim the final stage of the 12th-annual Italian DanceSport Championship, the closing to the grandiose 2019 Rimini Fair.
The Standard division features 165 couples registered to compete this Saturday, almost twice as many as participated in 2018. With the Rimini Fair taking such major events under its belt as part of the Italian DanceSport Championships, the number of competitors and the number of spectators has increased with the addition of both the Standard and Latin WDSF GrandSlams.
Italy in the Spotlight
The previous WDSF GrandSlam of this year was held just last month in Taipei on June 2. A total of 61 couples took part. By statistics, it seems that Rimini will be the third greatest GrandSlam in terms of participants of all five GrandSlam legs for this year. Stuttgart will take first, followed by the Moscow GrandSlam (both events which are still yet to come this year), and Rimini will follow right behind with increasing numbers.
From the 165 registrants, 105 couples are from the host country of Italy itself! We have 13 couples from Russia, six from Poland, and five from Lithuania, from which our anticipated champions Evaldas Sodeika and Ieva Zukauskaite travel.
Sodeika and Zukauskaite did not participate in this GrandSlam last year, so the arena will be a fresh sight for them. They anticipate to take the third GrandSlam title of their competitive careers this weekend, however, the game will be tight because we also have Francesco Galuppo and Debora Pacini of Italy in the running as well.
No doubt will the crowd go wild in support of their home country representatives, who finished runner-up to the Lithuanian couple at the GrandSlams in Bucharest and Taipei this year.
Will The Finalists Make Some Changes? Will New Semifinalists Come Our Way?
If we take another look back at the two GrandSlam legs that took place this year, we can notice that the final six was identical in both Taipei and Bucharest, looking something like this:
Evaldas Sodeika - Ieva Zukauskaite
Francesco Galuppo - Debora Pacini
Evgeny Moshenin - Dana Spitsyna
Alexey Glukhov - Anastasia Glazunova
Vaidotas Lacitis - Veronika Golodneva
Evgeny Nikitin - Anastasia Miliutina
In Rimini, we anticipate the final to consist of the same six duos, but wonder if any of them will swap places after only a month since their last GrandSlam meeting. The semifinal will be the round to determine which couples have progressed in terms of standing since Bucharest, as this and the quarterfinal round are the most intense rounds to watch in terms of battling competition.
It will be interesting to see the placement of Edgars Linis and Eliza Ancane of Latvia and Tomas Fainsil and Violetta Posmetnaya of Germany, couples whose placements defer due to the participation of other couples. When various couples do not attend, placements vary from event to event, so it will be exciting to watch how the final standings will play out for the Ballroom pairs this Saturday.
Make your predictions and keep up with us to check in the results to come our way this Saturday, July 13, 2019! It will be one of the hottest events of the WDSF competitive year so far! Stay tuned everyone.