Four out of the six finalists who danced last December’s GrandSlam Standard in Shanghai, CHN, have made it to Cambrils, ESP, for the first regular leg of the 2013 Series.
One of the two couples missing in Cambrils: the 2012 World and GrandSlam Champions Benedetto Ferruggia and Claudia Koehler, GER. They announced on 27 February that they would continue their competitive career in the WDSF Professional Division.
And Evgeny Moshenin - Genny Favero, ITA, who came in sixth in the Shanghai final, could well have split up as a couple. This does happen occasionally. In any case, the two have not entered any competitions so far this year.
As the first GrandSlam of the year, Cambrils will reveal the shifts of power that may have occurred during the only time considered the “off-season” in DanceSport, the month of January and part of February.
The top couples resume training immediately after New Year, but they go very carefully about selecting the competitions they enter, accruing their points in World and International Opens, and generally without having to go head to head with their most direct opponents as per the WDSF World Ranking List.
In 2012, the first GrandSlam Standard was held in Tokyo, JPN, also during March. It pitched the 2011 World Champions Emanuel Valeri - Tania Kehlet, against the 2011 runners-up Ferruggia – Koehler, with the latter couple prevailing. From there, the Germans kept the upper hand in every direct face-off with the Danes. Power had shifted!
Quite a few experts expect that the fight for first in Cambrils will once more be between Germany and Denmark. Simone Segatori - Annette Sudol are the heir apparent of Ferruggia – Koehler at the national level already. Internationally, they have been a solid world #3 ever since 2011 – and they have been narrowing the gap year after year.
Virtually every couple in the top 20 of the World Ranking as of March is in Spain. We can definitely expect a close competition at all levels on Saturday. Close to 100 couples have entered this GrandSlam that is bound to bring a few new faces to the semi-final and final. And a GrandSlam that could serve as the form indicator for the 2013 European Standard in Aarhus, DEN, on 20 April … As well as the next GrandSlam leg in Hong Kong. The 2013 DanceSport “season” is about to start in earnest!