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Did You Know...

... that Black Cat will not compete in 4-way for Russia at the world meet?

FAI 8-way bronze medals for Tanay in 2016
posted Aug 15th, 2018 - Russia's national team in 4-way Open, Black Cat, is one of the longest standing 4-way teams in the world. The NSL News has covered the Black Cat battles with other Russian world class teams for the national top spot since the team project was launched in 2005.

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.

The Black Cat members also competed for Tanay in 8-way at the same event, and Tanay won the bronze medals for Russia.

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
Rank4-way Open12,A,1618,15,O1,F,E,C17,B,1410,2,2021,11,GJ,5,19L,M,K,7D,8,43,13,QTotalAvg
1NMP PCH HayaBusaBE2425352619222739232226226.2
2Arizona AirspeedUS2123312618222740232325425.4
4Black CatRU2220302417212433211923123.1
5Qatar TigersQA2120302417202336171822622.6
Challenging double duties for Black Cat at the FAI Mondial 2016
The Tanay 8-way team and Black Cat have both been training and competing under the same circumstances ever since. Black Cat is still the strongest 4-way team in Russia, and they were planning to compete for Russia once again in 4-way and 8-way both. However, 8-way training and competition have become the top priority for Russia, as the NSL News reported on 9 February 2018.

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
1Golden KnightsUS3125262220221926242423923.9
4Qatar FalconsQA191620157101316151514614.6
High priority: Tanay 8-way training with Craig Girard
It would probably be next to impossible for a 4-way team to win a set of FAI medals this year without a total focus on this event only. The competition in 4-way is stronger than ever, with the reigning NMP PCH HayaBusa world champions from Belgium, Arizona Airspeed and Aerodyne Realfly from France, plus the Qatar Tigers in close pursuit of 4-way Open Class medals.

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.

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