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Did You Know...

... that Oleg Shalamykhin has to replace Georgy Miroshnichenko for Airborne VDV at the Mondial?

Russian indoor champions in April 2021: Airborne VDV
posted Jul 19th, 2021 - The Russian Airborne team VDV won the Russian Indoor Cup 2021, as the NSL News reported on July 13th. The same news update mentioned that the Russian Formation Skydiving delegation of the traditional events (4-way Open, 4-way Women, 8-way) will be introduced soon.

There are no changes or surprises in 8-way (Tanay) and 4-way Women (Bubbles), while the 4-way Open story is much more complicated and includes the Airborne VDV team, as well.

The indoor update mentioned that Airborne VDV finished with a new 31.5 team record average, which is just one point below the highest Russian indoor average ever, posted by Black Cat at the FAI European Indoor Championship 2018. Team leader Georgy Miroshnichenko had finally joined the Airborne VDV signature lineup for indoor and outdoor training and competition before the Russian Indoor Cup, after a few years with Russian Thunder.

The recent crash of a L-410 Turbolet jump plane in Tanay did not only add another burden to the host of the FAI Tanay Mondial 2020. The International Skydiving Commission (ISC) and the Russian host reacted quickly and announced that "substitute aircraft have been ordered and organization is going ahead as planned". The impact on Airborne VDV was heavier, as Georgy Miroshnichenko was in the plane that crashed, and he was injured.


Russian Indoor Cup 2021
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total Avg
Rank AAA Class 21,12,19 Q,G,A,J,17 M,8,O,22 5,7,15 9,C,2 18,4,K D,P,H,N,3 1,13,14 L,16,11 10,E,20 Total Avg
1 VDV 27 41 28 32 36 27 43 27 28 26 315 31.5
2 IFS-Moscow 23 39 28 28 31 27 41 24 23 26 290 29.0
3 Bubbles 25 33 25 27 31 28 41 22 26 26 284 28.4
4 Russian Thunder 21 32 20 29 31 25 38 23 23 23 265 26.5
5 VDV 2 21 30 24 24 28 24 33 20 22 20 246 24.6
6 42 17 28 23 24 24 21 31 22 22 21 233 23.3
7 No Limits 21 33 21 21 24 21 32 19 20 19 231 23.1
8 Antibodies 21 28 21 24 25 21 31 20 21 17 229 22.9
9 DDW-Team 20 32 17 22 26 21 30 20 19 20 227 22.7
10 Quartet 17 27 22 19 26 15 31 19 19 19 214 21.4
11 Bumblbee 14 29 20 18 24 17 27 18 19 17 203 20.3

Airborne VDV at the Russian Indoor Nationals 2021
Russian outdoor champions 2019: Tanay Wolves, with Oleg Shalamykhin (2nd from right)
Airborne VDV was and still is the 4-way Open Class team that represents Russia at the upcoming FAI Tanay Mondial 2020, despite the tragic plane crash and the implications on the event host and the team.

The Tanay Wolves had actually won the qualification as the national team in 4-way Open at the Russian Nationals 2019. Timur Frank and his three world-class team mates Vladimir Pavlenko, Dmitry Samokhval and Alexander Tychinsky won before the three Tanay 8-way members withdrew from 4-way training and competition to focus only on 8-way.

The FAI Tanay Mondial was rescheduled in 2020, due to the corona virus crisis, and the Tanay Wolves did not try to defend their 2019 title at last year's national championships. Airborne VDV won the small 6-round competition and became the new Russian national 4-way champions in 4-way Open.

The Russian skydiving federation then sanctioned Airborne VDV as the national outdoor team for the rescheduled world meet, after the team had also won the Russian Indoor Cup 2021 in April. Host Andrey Barabash and Tanay Wolves founder Timur Frank joined forces to support the new national team financially, and Timur Frank became VDV's alternate. He was now training with the team on a regular basis on weekends before and/or after the actual team training of the complete Airborne VDV lineup.


Russian Nationals 2019
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total Avg
Rank 8-way Open N,E,D,16 G,F,Q,C,13 8,B,A,3 L,10,1 22,J,K,14 21,9,M 18,O,12 4,7,11 20,19,2 H,6,15 Total Avg
1 Tanay 23 -2 22 21 23 20 20 18 -1 23 17 22 209 20.9
Rank 4-way Open 17,21,20 9,18,10 1,14,A 15,D,B,F L,4,N,O 3,22,6 2,7,5 12,19,G J,P,13,H E,8,11 Total Avg
1 Tanay Wolves 19 18 18 26 25 16 19 18 27 16 -1 202 20.2
2 Black Cat 19 17 -1 12 -5 28 22 16 20 17 24 -1 19 194 19.4
3 Sausages in Dough 17 -1 18 17 24 -1 21 17 19 17 25 -1 17 192 19.2

Russian Outdoor champions 2020: Airborne VDV, two days before the plane crash
Timur Frank, Alexander Furman, Georgy Miroshnichenko, Alexander Izmalkin and videographer Alexey Afanasyev were in training on the day of the plane crash, and the tragedy happened after they boarded for their third jump. All team members survived with injuries, Georgy Miroshnichenko and Timur Frank more severely injured than their team mates.

Alexander Izmalkin and videographer Alexey Afanasyev have recovered quickly enough to resume with easier parts of the Airborne VDV training, while Georgy Miroshnichenko will not be able to compete at the FAI Tanay Mondial 2020. The Russian national team in 4-way Open needed a replacement for him after they decided to continue.

Airborne VDV and Andrey Barabash finally asked Oleg Shalamykhin, one of the most experienced Russian 4-way and 8-way competitors, to step in for Georgy Miroshnichenko, and he agreed. Oleg Shalamykhin had already been working with Airborne VDV as their external coach since the team was sanctioned as the national team in 4-way Open. Now his role changed, and he will also compete with the team at the FAI Tanay Mondial 2020 in August.

He replaces Georgy Miroshnichenko in his outside center slot as the Airborne VDV player-coach. There is not much time left for any preparations, and the new VDV lineup started with indoor training, while waiting for Skydive Tanay to go back to normal operation. Outdoor training in Tanay was scheduled to begin on July 19th, and VDV with Oleg Shalamykhin will try to get as much out of the last training opportunity as possible.


Russian Outdoor Nationals 2020
1 2 3 4 5 6 Total Avg
Rank AAA Class 8,B,A,3 L,10,1 N,E,D,16 G,F,Q,C,13 22,J,K,14 21,9,M Total Avg
1 Airborne VDV 19 17 22 28 14 26 126 21.0
2 Bubbles 19 17 24 24 12 22 118 19.7
3 5th Element 13 12 13 14 11 17 80 13.3
4 42 11 12 0 17 11 19 70 11.7

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