Last year’s GrandSlam Standard Final will forever be remembered as the last duel between the eternal opponents Simone Segatori – Annette Sudol, GER, and Dmitry Zharkov – Olga Kukikova, RUS, where the former ended up on top. From there it was total dominance by the Russians in four GrandSlam legs in the 2017 Series as well as in the World Championship held here in China back in September. Even though they had made the announcement to change to the Professional Division, Simone and Annette have not yet danced any competitions there and, as the #2 in the GrandSlam Ranking, would be entitled to dance in this Standard “Showdown Shanghai.”
But they have not entered. Something which allows another German couple to put in its first appearance in this GrandSlam Standard Final: Tomas Fainsil and Violetta Posmetnaya. There are four more newcomers to the most exclusive competition in all of DanceSport: Russians Evgeny Nikitin - Anastasia Miliutina and the Chinese wild card couple Qiu Yuming - Wei Liying. They should do their country proud – here too – as they did in the World Standard, where they became the first ever semi-finalists from China.
To consider the pre-event favourites and dominators Dmitry Zharkov – Olga Kukikova as shoo-in winners today would be justifiable, if were not for the mishaps that saw a great dancer (almost) tumble on two occasions.
Here is the all-star line-up for the 2017 GrandSlam Standard Final:
Madis Abel - Aleksandra Galkina, EST
Tomas Fainsil - Violetta Posmetnaya, GER
Francesco Galuppo - Debora Pacini, ITA
Alexey Glukhov - Anastasia Glazunova, RUS
Vasily Kirin - Ekaterina Prozorova, AUT
Vaidotas Lacitis - Veronika Golodneva, LTU
Evgeny Moshenin - Dana Spitsyna, RUS
Evgeny Nikitin - Anastasia Miliutina, RUS
Vadim Shurin - Anastasia Meshkova, LAT
Anton Skuratov - Alena Uehlin, GER
Evaldas Sodeika - Ieva Zukauskaite, LTU
Qiu Yuming - Wei Liying
Dmitry Zharkov - Olga Kulikova, RUS
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