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John Fam of the IDSF Communication Commission reports about DanceSport's successful premiere in the recent Asian Games in China. It was a clean sweep for the sport ... and for the athletes of the host country.
Guangzhou, the 3rd largest city in the Peoples Republic of China plays host to the 2010 Asiad. The city has a population of approximately 11 million people and is located in Southern China.
This is the first time Dancesport is featured in the Asian Games as a medal event, with 14 Asian Countries participating. There are 10 gold medals in contention in the Latin and Standard discipline, a five-dance event, and 4 single dance events in each discipline. Excluded from the single dances are Viennese Waltz and Rumba.
Zencheng Gymnasium where Dancesport is held has a seating capacity of 1.700 people.
Nine international IDSF judges from Europe, Australia and Canada save for one from China were chosen to adjudicate the event. Herman Goetz from Vienna, Austria is the Chief Judge.
The new marking system that had its trial run at the Grand Slam Finals in Shanghai last year is used after some minor adjustment. The results of each competition came out almost instantaneously after the judges has keyed in their marks. The nine adjudicators can award each athlete a maximum of 45 points. The adjudicating system will cancel off the highest and the lowest marks and average out the 7 remaining scores.
China swept all 10 gold in both the Standard and Latin American event followed by Japan and Korea taking the Silver and Bronze. Special mentioned must be given to the Philippines; they are the only South East Asian country to have won the bronze in the Cha Cha Cha and Paso Doble single dance through Ronnie Steeve Vergara and Charlea Lagaras.
China’s Yang Chao and Tan Yi Ling took the gold in the Standard 5 dance and the Quickstep single Dance. Shen Hong and Liang Yu Jie took two gold in the Tango and Waltz Single dance with Wu Zhian and Lei Ying completing the gold sweep for China in the Slow Foxtrot.
The ADSF Asian Champion Ayami Kubo and Masayuki Ishihara from Japan managed to secure two silver medals in the Quickstep and the Waltz. Ishihara and Kubo were tipped to take the Waltz and Quickstep, but this was not to be.
In the Latin American segment the veteran Wang Wei & Chen Jin took 2 gold in the Samba and the Paso Doble Single Dance. Lei Shi and Baiyu Zhang took 2 gold in the Latin 5 Dance and Cha Cha Cha single Dance. Fan Yenbo and Chen Shiyao took the gold in Jive.
Mr. Keiji Ukai the President of the Asian Dancesport Federation (ADSF) and Mr. Carlos Freitag the President of the International Dancesport Federation (IDSF) were present not only to witness the event. Both of them took the time to meet and talk to the athletes, coaches and team managers from the various Asian countries.
Mr. Shawn Tay of Singapore, the Secretary General of IDSF was invited to host the event. Apart from the fact from the fact that he has a sound technical knowledge in Dancesport, Mr. Tay is also bilingual and was able to oversee the accuracy of the Chinese translation.
Mr. Royce Yeh, the Secretary General of ADSF commented that the complete dominance by China in Dancesport is expected considering home ground factors. However he felt that perhaps it is time to consider including Asian judges also in future Games because this is after all an Asian Games.
Like in all subjective sports, there tend to be grouses and complaints by team managers, but having said all, no one can fault that the inaugural event of Dancesport in the Asian Games went smoothly. No one can fault the integrity of the new judging system introduced by IDSF.