Every National Olympic Committee is aware of the general "Qualification System Principles" upon which the sport-specific system is based. They are: universality, performance, host country representation and gender equality.
As per one of these principles, the Comité Olímpico Argentino (COA) is assigned two of the 24 places in the Breaking events at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games. It's a co-host of the games.
Whether and how COA will make use of them is left entirely to its discretion.
COA will probably try to send the best b-boy and b-girl in the country. But to determine who's best it might need some expert advice.
Such advice is available at this point already - during the first stage of general qualifying - in the form of assessments made by our expert judges. All COA needs to do is encourage all b-boys/girls in the country to submit their video to www.breakingforgold.com. We'll take care of the rest! Lautaro Bravo, aka B-Boy Aurico, is first from Argentina to submit his.
With the final batch of videos uploaded to our YouTube channel DanceSport Total and here, bringing the total to 64, and with nearly 300 of Helmut Roland's pictures in the gallery, this blog gets archived soon.
Remember that the Vimeo on Demand programme covering the semi-final and final is scheduled to be released by Friday 26 May, one week after it was danced.
The World DanceSport Federation points out to the National Member Bodies that the first stage of qualifying for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games must be open to all breakers and without any restrictions other than the age range.
WDSF salutes the efforts made by the NMBs to tie their 2017 national breaking championships in with the qualifying for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games. This has been done by DanceSport Australia. It is planned to be done by others too. Let's take today's Danish Breaking Championship as an example. Because one important concept of the IOC-approved Qualification System must be respected at all times!
The 2017 Danish Breaking Championship - held under the auspices of Danmarks Sportsdanserforbund - is in progress in Aarhus today. Of the five best b-boys and the five best b-girls in the final standing for youth born 2000 to 2002, the organisers around René Brix and the Aarhus Sportsdanserforening record a 45-second video for #breakingforgold, the digital qualifying for the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games. There is nothing wrong with that - it's even commendable - but only as long as the following is respected too:
All Danish b-boy/girls have the right to submit a video to www.breakingforgold.com independently from today's championship and to pursue Stage One qualifying on their own. The standing of the national championship does not per se qualify anyone to move on to Stage Two qualifying for 2018 YOG.
It can hardly be considered a suprise: Dmitry Zharkov and Olga Kulikova, RUS, make it two consecutive European titles to match what they have achieved in the World Championships already. First and second runners-up were - just as last year in Wroclaw, POL - the Lithuanians Evaldas Sodeika - Ieva Zukauskaite and Vaidotas Lacitis - Veronika Golodneva, respectively.
As Dmitry and Olga are hamming it up with their dance of honour, we take the opportunity to congratulate all finalists. Great dancing!
More videos of the first and second rounds will go up on DanceSport Total and the Vimeo on Demand programme will become available from 30 May. Per-order now: 2017 European Standard.
Someone commented on our announcement that the 2017 European Standard would get covvered in the customary "nearly real-time" mode (clips uploaded to our YouTube channel and to this blog):
@WDSF DanceSport, when will you make live streams of GrandSlams, European and World Championships available? Having to rent a competition afterwards, when the result is known, isn't exciting anymore...
Well, wait no longer! Follow the quarterfinal, semi-final and final action through our Facebook page @WDSF DanceSport.
The situation in Olomouc, CZE, is comparable to the one that presented itself one year ago, when the European Standard title was contested in Wroclaw, POL. Not all of the favourites enter this championship either.
In 2016 we wrote: "To everyone looking forward to another taste of the drama in the dance-by-dance battle for points that was decided by the whim of four decimals separating the Russians from the Germans in the Wuhan final: it won't happen in this European! Simone and Annette are not among the starters, having withdrawn at the very last moment."
Whatever the reason for them to stay away in 2017 too, we must learn to accept such a decision. It is their career and only theirs. Even if their absence preempts us from enjoying another tight race between the #1 and the #2 in the WDSF World Ranking.
Just to remind ourselves, last time Dmitry Zharkov - Olga Kulikova, RUS, and Simone Segatori - Annette Sudol danced against each other in the final of the 2017 GrandSlam Wuhan, the margin separating first from second place was nothing - well, it was 0.04. That is not even half of a decimal point.
Third place in 2017 Wuhan, CHN, went to Evaldas Sodeika - Ieva Zukauskaite, LTU, who were five points back. They told us after the awards presentation that they would probably train more and compete less this year. Who knows, this approach could allow them to close the gap to the two top-ranked couples. They were the runners-up in Wroclaw last year, seven points behind Dmitry and Olga. But that was with the Judging System 2.1. Let's see how they fare with 3.0.
Bjorn Bitsch and Ashli Williamson are old hands at giving interviews too. The fact that English is Ashli's native tongue and that Bjorn's command of the language is outstanding too make the couple an easy target for an interviewer in search of a witty remark. Here they describe their routines on a day prior to a major competition.
We have conducted many interviews with Evaldas Sodeika - Ieva Zukauskaite, LTU, over the past few years. Since they have firmly established themselves as one of the three couples holding the powers in Standard, we talk to them before, during and after every competition. Usually, Evaldas is a man of few words, with a good sense of humour, plenty of charm and everything, but certainly not the most talkative. That was different yesterday, he nearly carried the interview alll by himself.