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Both events were related to each other in many ways. One connection were the six national teams that used the World Challenge as the last test before the indoor world championship: NMP PCH HayaBusa (Belgium), Arizona Airspeed (United States), Tigers (Qatar), Airheads (Switzerland), FlySpot Sky4Four, NFTO and ACM Weembi (Great Britain).
There were also a few individual competitors who competed at both events with different teams. Julien Degen and Clementine Le Bohec were in the Weembi Unicorns lineup in Bedford. Julien Degen then won FAI silver medals in 4-way Open with Weembi High Rollers on his home turf. Clementine LeBohec won gold with Nephtys Weembi in 4-way Women.
SDC Rhythm XP's Andrew Happick, JaNette and Steve Lefkowitz posted a 30.1 average at the World Challenge before winning 8-way gold with Paraclete XP8 and a 31.6 average at Weembi Lille. Martial Ferre competed with Tenanine for Mauretania in Bedford and then won FAI 8-way silver for France in Lille.
World Challenge 2019
|5||SDC Rhythm XP||US||46||28||24||32||25||29||24||31||35||27||301||30.1|
|10||Odin Parachute Systems||FR||35||28||21||29||22||25||20||25||29||25||259||25.9|
The FAI rules do not allow a competitor to sign up for the same two categories at a world meet. However, the possibility that IFS Moscow and Bubble Hubble both would compete at the indoor world meet was not that far away. IFS Moscow lost the Russian indoor qualification for the FAI event against Black Cat, even though the Russian team delivered a very strong performance in Bedford.
In fact, IFS Moscow finished with a significantly higher meet average in Bedford compared to Black Cat in Lille (30.9 - 28.7) even though the competition draw was not faster at the World Challenge. The 30.9 average would have placed IFS Moscow in 4th place at the indoor world meet.
However, the same IFS Moscow lineup would not have been eligible for the FAI event, unless Alena Chistova had skipped the slot in the Russian 4-way Women lineup.
FAI Indoor World Meet 2019
|9||Voss Vind Girls||NO||27||22||24||18||18||19||20||23||19||19||209||20.9|
Alena Chistova was the highest-scoring female 4-way competitor at the World Challenge this year, where IFS Moscow outscored SDC Rhythm XP with JaNette Lefkowitz. In Bedford, she also joined Christine Malnis, Sophia Pecout, Clementine Le Bohec, Pamela Lissajoux, Laurence Herve and JaNette Lefkowitz, all with 30+ averages in their records.
The Russian world class competitor is not only a 4-way indoor expert. Alena Chistova also competed with Evolution Pro, the former Russian national 8-way team, at world meets and world cups. She won FAI 8-way bronze at the outdoor world meets in 2004 and 2006, after competing for Russia in 4-way in Gap 2003.
15 years after winning her first FAI 8-way medal in Croatia, she finished 3rd with IFS Moscow in Bedford and missed the next FAI medal in 4-way Women with Bubble Hubble in Lille by seven points...