The World champions in Acrobatic Gymnastics and Men’s Synchronised Trampoline extended their reigns Monday under the magnificent dome of Wroclaw’s Centennial Hall. With their second consecutive Games titles, four-time World champions Dong Dong and Tu Xiao added another golden chapter to their legendary story, proving yet again that they are not only the best in the world, but among the best synchro pairs of all time.
In Acrobatic Gymnastics, Mixed Pair Marina Chernova and Georgii Pataraia and Women’s Pair Daria Guryeva and Daria Kalinina showed no signs of weakness as they coasted to victory, leaving wide margins between themselves and second place.
Dong and Tu stage a comeback
Having triumphed in Cali four years ago, Dong Dong and Tu Xiao know what glory at The World Games tastes like. But gold in 2017 was served only after a side of adversity: During the qualification round, Dong made a rare mistake, landing on the boards of the trampoline mid-routine and putting China in the unusual position of needing help from other pairs to assure themselves a place in the final. They got it — and used their second chance to blitz the field, delivering their usual brilliance for first place.
Ukrainians Dmytro Byedyevkin and Mykola Prostorov dug themselves out of a hole for silver, climbing from ninth after their first routine onto the podium with a brilliant final performance that came very close to depriving the Chinese of gold. When all was said and done, the margin of victory was only 0.05. For Japanese newcomers Takato Nakazono and Yamato Ishikawa, both in their first major international competition, bronze is an auspicious start to their senior careers.
Chernova and Pataraia, mixing for gold
With superior Difficulty, Artistry and Execution in all routines, Mixed Pair Marina Chernova and Georgii Pataraia proved untouchable from start to finish, never relinquishing their position atop the scoreboard. With a new Combined routine that had the Centennial Hall crowd cheering well before it ended, the Russian duo, already European and World champions, secured the one major gold medal they didn’t already possess.
In their wake, Belarus’s Volha Melnik and Artur Beliakou, fourth at the 2016 Worlds, upgraded to silver on the strength of a final exercise that showed off all their considerable elegance. Great Britain’s Lewis Walker and new partner Kitty Williams, meanwhile, capitalized on an error by Portugal’s Carolina Dias and Joao Martins to grab bronze.
The princesses of Women’s Pairs
Daria Guryeva and Daria Kalinina showed softness and steel in each of their presentations, the combination earning them the highest Difficulty and Execution scores of the final. That was good enough for gold, even though the Russian duo ranked slightly behind Belgian silver medallists Lore Vanden Berghe and Noemie Lammertyn in the Artistry component.
Ukraine’s Iryna Nazimova and Veronika Habelok dueled Americans Aubrey Rosilier and Emily Davis throughout, coming up with bronze after an error took the Americans out of contention in the final.