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Wroclaw, POL - 29 July © Roland

As we did in Salsa and Standard yesterday, we have reigning World Games Champions in Latin, too, who are seeking to revalidate their title won four years ago in Cali, COL. Gabriele Goffredo - Anna Matus celebrated one of their first BIG victories in The World Games 2013 and have been going strong ever since.

In 2015, they claimed their first World Champion title in Vienna, AUT, and defended it successfully in Chengdu, CHN. Only on relatively rare occasions, they had to give in to their strongest opponents, Armen Tsaturyan - Svetlana Gudyno, RUS. Over the past three years, they lost two European Championships to the Russians and were defeated by them in only one out of ten GrandSlam legs. It is a dominance that starts to resemble that of their immediate predecessors Nino Langella and Khrystyna Moshenska, ITA, who won three consecutive world titles and something like 15 GrandSlam legs altogether.

Armen and Svetlana are highly motivated to perform at their best here at The World Games. Just like Dmitry Zharkov and Olga Kulikova, who came in second in Standard yesterday, they are awed by The World Games and – as all members of the Russian delegation – keenly aware of their responsibility to bring back minimum a silver medal. If the Latin competition should end up like the European Championship in April, who knows, it could even be another gold added to the 26 Russia has as of this morning.

We have another couple that enjoys the strong support of its national federation and the National Olympic Committee at The World Games: Charles-Guillaume Schmitt - Elena Salikhova, FRA, have won the bronze medal in Cali. Consistent finalists in all major championships and in the GrandSlam Series for the past six years, they have always the aspiration to make it to the podium. Their last major title dates back to March 2016, when they won the European Universities Championships. That was before WDSF was granted recognition by the International University Sports Federation.

Who else is there to make it into the top six today? Andrea Silvestri - Varadi Martina, HUN, are the world #7 and have shown an ascending form for quite some time. Giacomo Lazzarini - Roberta Benedetti, ITA, are certainly contenders for the final, but then so are Moldovan Paul - Tatar Cristina, ROU (pictured on the left), and Guillem Pascual - Rosa Carne, ESP. Or Roman Gerbey - Oksana Lukyanenko, UKR, and Jenya Suvorov - Jenya Libman, ISR!

One thing is certain, the Norwegian couple made up of Petter Andreas Engan - Kine Marie Mardal won’t be among them. Kine had to inform the chairman this morning that she wouldn’t be able dance. She and Petter are here in Wroclaw, but a persisting injury keeps her off the floor