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Black Cat eventually won the national championships and represented Russia for the first time at the FAI Mondial 2018. Valentin Ilin (Outside Center), Vasily Korotkov (Point), Alexander Kvochur (Tail) and Evgeny Stashchenko (Inside Center), with Vadim Niyazov on camera, finished six points behind France in 4th place.
It was a challenging task for competitors with double duties in 4-way and 8-way at the FAI Mondial 2018, as both events were not coordinated well for teams that competed in both categories. All teams had to be at the competition site most of the time, prepared for either of the two Formation Skydiving events to be called to action. It was difficult for teams with double duties to perform at their top level in both events.
FAI Mondial 2016
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Russia is one of the most serious medal contenders in 8-way and has the opportunity to turn bronze into silver this year, as France has not registered an 8-way team for this year's FAI World Meet in Australia. In fact, Tanay is even looking at the gold medal position that the Golden Knights have owned since 2012.
A similar situation with double duties in both events, as at Skydive Chicago in 2016, could become a serious obstacle in the battle for 8-way gold medals this year. The officials of the Russian skydiving federation, the Tanay 8-way team and Black Cat thus decided together to change plans for Australia and have the Tanay members compete only in 8-way.
FAI Mondial 2016
Black Cat was in medal contention at the FAI Mondial 2016 after a reasonable amount of 4-way training, and the Tanay 8-way team did not have the same goals as this year. The situation has changed now, and Black Cat has not trained much in 4-way at all, while Tanay will have completed significantly more than 600 training jumps before Round 1 in Australia.
This does not mean that Russia will not have a 4-way team in Australia. The same group of decision makers also decided to send another team downunder and compete in 4-way Open. The Tanay Wolves will represent Russia at the upcoming World Championship of Formation Skydiving, while Tanay's 8-way team and the Black Cat members can fully concentrate on their prime event.
The Tanay Wolves have a new lineup, guided by former 8-way world champion and Russian 4-way expert Oleg Shalamyhin, and the new situation has an impact on the 4-way Women event, as well. The NSL News will follow up with the introduction of the Tanay Wolves and the related implications.