The home of the Paralympic Movement – Bonn, Germany – is ready to welcome its first major Para sport event when the 2019 World Para Dance Sport Championships kick off Friday (29 November) at the Hardtberghalle.
The event will be historic for Bonn, which has headquartered the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) since 1999.
Furthermore, the 2019 Worlds will be a milestone for Para dance sport itself.
With the support of the City of Bonn, Aktion Mensch and Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung (DGUV), Para dance will see its biggest World Championships ever with 225 athletes (124 female and 101 male) from 26 countries competing across 21 medal events.
The competition runs until 1 December, with three full days of action.
DAY 1: PHILIPPINES AND UKRAINE SET TO LIGHT UP BONN 2019
Everyday will be packed with seven medal events. Friday will start with the women’s single class 1 and class 2; duo Latin class 1 and 2; combi freestyle class 1 and 2.
Watch for Filipino power couple Rhea Marquez and Julius Jun Obero in the combi freestyle 2. Their emotional, winning performance at the 2017 World Championships in Malle, Belgium, has set expectations for Bonn 2019.
One of the strongest individual dancers will take the floor in Olena Chynka. The Ukrainian has been unbeatable in the women’s single 2, winning the last two European Championships, and is also the defending world champion.
However, Chynka will be tested with the return of 2015 world champion Galina Ryzhkova from Russia.
Chynka will later join forces with wheelchair dancer Oleksandr Onishchenko as they try to defend their crown in the duo Latin 2. But Mexicans and 2017 runners-up Guadalupe Cajero and Jesus Angeles would like to excel in their native discipline.
Another Ukrainian Illona Slugovyna is expected to charm the judges in the women’s single 1. But South Korea’s Hye-Jeong Jang has a chance to upset the world champion and upgrade her 2017 silver medal.
Bonn 2019 will set the stage for the sport’s future generation, as the first world champions will be decided in the women’s junior single class 1+2 that consists of female dancers between 13-20 years old.
DAY 2: GERMANY’S GOLDEN HOPE
The men’s single class 1 and class 2 take their turn under the spotlight, and eyes will focus on home favourite Erik Machens.
The 36-year-old will try to become a world champion for the first time in the class 2 category. He had fallen just short at the last two Worlds, and breaking that spell on German territory would be fitting.
However, his class is among the fiercest.
Ukraine’s Ivan Sivak has stolen the judges’ top marks at last year’s European Championships and the 2017 Worlds. Mexico’s 2017 Worlds bronze medallist Jesus Angeles has always possessed elements of surprises. Add the comeback of Russian Maksim Sedakov – the 2015 world champion – and every movement on the dancefloor will matter.
Combi standard class 1 and class 2, which pairs a wheelchair dancer with a standing partner, will encaptivate the audience. Belarus have been strong in this discipline, with the graceful reigning world champions Hanna Harchakova and Roman Usmanov a must-see in the class 2.
The women’s freestyle class 1 will spice up the night. Kazakhstan’s Karlygash Tynabekova might take a risk with a new routine as she targets back-to-back titles.
Spectators will also witness the Worlds debut of duo freestyle class 1 and class 2.
DAY 3: TRIO OF THRILLS
The Bonn 2019 World Championships will close with a taste of all three disciplines – standard, Latin and freestyle.
Olena Chynka will hope to conclude with a pair of world titles. Her impersonation of Mexican artist Frida in the women’s single freestyle class 2 has won her the 2017 World and 2018 European titles. The mystery remains if she will perform a different dance. The Ukrainian will have to save her strength for the duo standard class 2 with wheelchair partner Oleksandr Onishchenko.
The combi Latin class 2 is also expected to be hotly contested. Two-time world champions Rhea Marquez and Julius Obero are again the favourites. But they will have to out-perform 27 other couples on the dance floor.
The Bonn 2019 World Para Dance Sport Championships will be streamed live on the event website https://www.paralympic.org/bonn-2019, and more information including the competition schedule are available online.
Also follow the World Championships on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/paradancesport , Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ParaDanceSport and Twitter https://twitter.com/paradancesport @paradancesport with the hashtags #Bonn2019 and #paradancesport.