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IFS Moscow, who finished in 3rd place and with a new team record average in Bedford, will not compete for Russia. Black Cat won the national indoor championships and is the Russian national team in 4-way Open. However, IFS Moscow's point Alena Chistova is going to compete again at Weembi Lille, this time in 4-way Women with Bubble Trouble.
The Russian delegation had separated the Formation Skydiving teams for the FAI Outdoor World Meet in Australia last year. Tanay's 8-way team, including the complete Black Cat lineup, concentrated only on 8-way training and competition, while Tanay Wolves represented Russia in 4-way.
This has changed for the indoor meet. The Black Cat lineup who won the Russian qualification included two 8-way members, Vladimir Pavlenko and Valentin Ilin. Both will have indoor double duties this time.
World Challenge 2019
|5||SDC Rhythm XP||US||46||28||24||32||25||29||24||31||35||27||301||30.1|
The 4-way and 8-way double duties for Vladimir Pavlenko and Valentin Ilin will not make it easier, and the 8-way team has high expectations. In fact, Qatar Tigers have left the 30+ level behind, as well, and aim at the spot right behind the Top 3. Echochamber from Sweden are also aiming at the 30+ level and will try to put pressure on Black Cat and Qatar Tigers both.
It is hard to imagine that NMP PCH HayaBusa will be in serious trouble this time. The Belgians are well trained and spent additional time at Weembi Lille to get ready after the World Challenge. Even the Weembi High Rollers need a peak performance to threaten the reigning world champions.
Airspeed seem to be too far behind for a serious U.S. threat. The performance in Bedford was the best one the team has delivered in a while, and SDC Rhythm XP had to feel it. Airspeed left Rhythm as far behind as the distance was between HayaBusa and the U.S. champions.
NMP PCH HayaBusa, Weembi High Rollers and Arizona Airspeed are currently the best three 4-way teams in the world and will probably divide the three sets of FAI medals between each other. The order is open, even though the NSL Power Rankings have not changed since the World Challenge.
Qatar Tigers and Black Cat will be fighting for the 4th place hoping for their own peak performance and a really bad meet by one of the top teams. Echochamber and Airheads are in the same situation as Qatar Tigers and Black Cat right behind them.
A most exciting competition is guaranteed, and pressure is on each team anywhere close to the medal rankings. This pressure could easily bring the best out of the best, and it would be no big surprise to see a few new team record averages at Weembi Lille later this week...