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Did You Know...

... that the FAI 4-way Open Class medal rankings were identical in 2016 and 2018?

France - United States - Norway in 1999 and 2003
posted Aug 9th, 2019 - The last NSL News update with news from Norway brought back memories of the DeLand Norgies, who won three consecutive sets of FAI bronze medals in 1999, 2001 and 2003. There are not many teams in the history of Formation Skydiving competition since 1985 who have accomplished similar success.

In fact, only 4-way world champion countries (United States, France, Belgium) can look back at three consecutive sets of medals in 1st or 2nd places at FAI World Championships of Formation Skydiving.

It is also an interesting part of 4-way Open Class history that the order in the medal rankings has never been the same - until Australia 2018. Belgium (NMP PCH HayaBusa), United States (Arizona Airspeed) and France (Aerodyne Realfly) finished in exactly the same ranking order as in 2016.

It happened only twice since 1985 that the ranking order was identical at all. France (1st), United States (2nd) and Norway (3rd) finished in exactly the same order in Gap 2003 as they did in Australia 1999.

4-way Open Class medal rankings at FAI World Championships of Formation Skydiving since 1985
4-way Open Class awards at the FAI World Meet 2016
The same three countries also shared the three sets of FAI medals in Spain 2001, where the rankings were different though. The DeLand Norgies still finished in 3rd place, while United States and France had swapped their medal positions.

The U.S. delegation had three different teams in the same time period between 1999 and 2003. Arizona Airspeed won silver (1999) and gold (2001) with two different lineups, and the Golden Knights 4-way team competed for the United States in 2003. France had two different lineups at the same three world meets.

Belgium, United States and France had shared the FAI medal rankings at world meets before their national teams came to Skydive Chicago in 2016 and then to Australia in 2018. Arizona Airspeed won in Maubeuge 2008, two points ahead of France, and NMP PCH HayaBusa won their first FAI medals with the 3rd place.

The same three nations won the medal positions in Dubai 2012, only in a different order. NMP PCH HayaBusa took the silver medals from France and finished only one single point behind Arizona Airspeed.

FAI World Meet 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
FAI World Meet 2018
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total Avg
Rank 4-way Open 21,L,B,G 22,18,17 19,7,O J,16,12 10,A,D,15 Q,M,F,C,N H,20,P,13 6,14,11 E,2,5 4,1,3 Total Avg
1 NMP-PCH Hayabusa BE 32 21 27 24 22 62 22 20 27 22 279 27.9
2 Arizona Airspeed US 26 21 27 24 24 60 26 22 27 20 277 27.7
3 Aerodyne Realfly FR 29 19 24 23 24 52 20 17 24 19 251 25.1

4-way Open Class awards at the FAI World Meet 2018
The Belgians eventually won for the first time and became 4-way world champions in Prostejov 2014, where they left Arizona Airspeed eleven points behind. Then they defended the top spot twice in 2016 and 2018. Airspeed was in 2nd place in 2014, 2016 and 2018, and the FAI medal ranking order was still not identical.

Canada's 4-way Open Class team Evolution interfered in Prostejov 2014 where they won the bronze medals and left France behind and in 4th place.

NMP PCH HayaBusa, Arizona Airspeed and France all came to Skydive Chicago with different lineups. France was back in 3rd place, while Airspeed reduced the distance to HayaBusa to eight points. The reigning world champions and the French national team of 2016 then traveled to Australia with the same lineups, where Airspeed competed once again with a new lineup.

HayaBusa's winning margin was down to two points in last year, and France could not get any closer to the gold and silver positions. However, the ranking positions were exactly the same as in 2016, for the first time in 4-way history at two consecutive world meets. NMP PCH HayaBusa and Arizona Airspeed or SDC Rhythm XP may claim the two top spots once again in Tanay 2020, while the bronze medal position seems to be open at this point in time. The medal ranking order could change again...

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