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Did You Know...

... that France, USA and Great Britain are the three powerhouses in 4-way Women?

posted May 25th, 2017 - Recent updates of the Sun Path Products NSL News covered the history of Formation Skydiving competition since 1985. The 40-year anniversary of the two original events (4-way Open, 8-way Open) at the FAI Mondial 2016 offered a good opportunity for a review.

The update on 6 May 2017 was related to Russia's national 8-way team from Tanay and became the first part of the "FS Powerhouse Story". The second part on 20 May 2017 picked up the topic and focused on the 4-way Open Class history.

Both stories were showing how the USA, France and Russia have been dominating the two events, although Russia has not been as powerful in 4-way as in 8-way.

The situation is different in 4-way Women competition, which was introduced officially at a World Championship of Formation Skydiving in Spain 2001. There is also a third powerful nation in this event, next to France and the USA. Teams from Great Britain have won nearly as many FAI medals as French and US teams have.

FAI World Meet 2001
Rank4-way Women8,19,24A,L,22,HE,10,D,1121,6,4B,18,C,14G,5,202,1,16M,K,12,915,23,PO,17,Q,NTotalAvg
2Norgie GirlsNO1315151313121315132214414.4
34 PleasureSE1315141314141415121914314.3
6South AfricaZA1212119118111310-11312.6
Elsinore Select in Germany 2006
In fact, the same three female powerhouses (France, USA, Great Britain) have won exactly the same number of gold medals since 2001, three each.

France did not participate with a 4-way Women team at the first two events in 2001 and 2003. From then on, just like the US teams in 4-way Open, French teams never missed the podium.

The USA did not win any medals only once in Germany 2006. This was also the only World Championship of Formation Skydiving where the US delegation did not win a set of medals in each of these three Formation Skydiving events.

Elsinore Select was actually tied with the Russian Ladybirds in bronze medal position after Round 5 in 2006. Then the weather neither allowed any more competition rounds nor a jump-off. The bronze medals went to Russia after applying the FAI/IPC tie-breaking rules of 2006.

FAI World Meet 2006
Rank4-way WomenN,20,16K,J,C,G,3D,19,B,6L,14,10F,17,M,2TotalAvg
1Perris AirKixUK16231915229519.0
3Elsinore SelectUS12151712177314.6
5Focus RemscheidDE12161410146613.2
12South AfricaZA9121069469.2
Out for redemption: Parachute Montreal Fuzion
Norway (2001, 2003, 2012), Russia (2004, 2006) and Sweden are the only other nations who have won medals in 4-way Women. The Scandinavian countries have been quiet in this event after Polaris won bronze medals in Dubai 2012, and the Golden Knights have not come back after the gold medals in 2016, while France and Great Britain move on in full strength.

In fact, the next gold medals seem to be out of reach for any other country, as the French Weembi Girls are far ahead of all 4-way Women teams at this point in time. NFTO might have the opportunity to move up into the silver medal position for the UK delegation in Australia 2018.

However, a new US team, Phoenix XP, has posted some impressive indoor scores after launching a new team project, and the US delegation could have a medal contender ready next year. Parachute Montreal Fuzion from Canada is also looking for redemption after missing the bronze medals in 2016, and Canada has not won a medal in 4-way Women yet. Finally, Russia's Bubble Trouble could become a serious medal contender, as well.

It has happened only once since 1985 that USA, France and Russia finished in the same order in all three events. DeLand Fire, Arizona Airspeed and Synchronicity won gold for the USA in 2004, France won the three silver medals and Russia triple bronze. Chances are little that this could happen again in Australia 2018, as NMP PCH HayaBusa will probably not leave Gold Coast without a medal...

All medal winners in 4-way Open 8-way and 4-way Women at World Championships of Formation Skydiving since 1985
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