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Qatar coach Luc Verstrepen was done with his competition career, after his last two years with NMP PCH HayaBusa, which were rewarded with the first set of FAI world championship medals in Maubeuge 2008.
A few years later he became one of the first coaches for the Qatar delegation, and he is still working the same job, now together with Gary Smith. Andy Grauwels, Luc Verstrepen's HayaBusa team mate in 2007 and 2008, has now been added to the 4-way coaching staff, while Jeremie Rollett continues to work with the 8-way team, the Qatar Falcons.
Eleven years after the first competition of the current Qatar delegation, the Tigers have won two sets of bronze medals at FAI world championships in 4-way Open (Tanay 2021, Eloy 2022), another set of 8-way bronze medals (Australia 2018) and the first 8-way silver medals in Eloy last year.
The Qatar Tigers were aiming at FAI gold medals, as they openly confirmed, and new coach Andy Grauwels, 4-way world champion of 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2021, is now supposed to guide the same lineup of the Tigers to the ultimate goal, the gold medals at a world championship.
At the same time, Qatar's Formation Skydiving delegation keeps growing. The project management had added the two new teams, Cheetahs and Lions, to the delegation years ago. Luc Verstrepen and Marin Ferre have been working with them, while Gary Smith trained the Qatar Tigers to the point where they became dangerous for NMP PCH HayaBusa. Gary Smith was coaching NMP PCH HayaBusa to all the 4-way gold medals that the Belgian team collected between 2014 and 2021, even though he had to scale back his efforts when the Qatar Tigers became the priority.
USPA Nationals 2022
|3||SDC Rhythm XP||US||23||24||-1||19||20||15||-1||19||-1||16||-1||17||25||18||196||19.6|
|5||Skydive Midwest NEXT||US||22||23||-1||16||-1||19||-1||15||-1||18||-2||16||16||23||-1||17||185||18.5|
|8||Corn Needs Butter||US||17||-2||15||-1||13||11||-3||10||-2||14||11||14||15||-2||14||134||13.4|
|9||SNE Fly Girls||US||13||10||-3||11||11||10||13||10||11||13||-2||9||111||11.1|
The outline of the competition teams has not changed, with the Falcons in 8-way, Tigers, Cheetahs and Lions in 4-way. However, it is a new selection process that Gary Smith and Luc Verstrepen are in the middle of. The Qatar management has given them the authority and freedom of a competitive selection process. Goal is to create a new lineup with the top talent (Cheetahs), followed in selection order by the Lions.
The selection is not limited to the current members of the same teams. Gary Smith and Luc Verstrepen said that they are also working with several new members of the Qatar delegation, even including former Canopy Formation competitors. They hope that they will be able to send the first more defined lineup into their first outdoor competition at the Shamrock Showdown in March.
Even though the two highly experienced coaches have unlimited authority and freedom to select the lineups of the Qatar teams, the same success of the past decade is not guaranteed. Gary Smith and Luc Verstrepen explained the other side of unlimited authority and resources in yesterday's NSL Live Talk. The Qatar coaches are always limited to select the team members from the Qatar delegation. They don't have well trained 4-way and 8-way competitors available who they could recruit from other teams when a slot is opening up. However, the world-class coaches know how to bring new competitors to the top level, and Qatar will most likely continue as a powerhouse in Formation Skydiving competition.
FAI Outdoor World Meet 2022
|Rank||4-way Open/Women Top 10||20,16,B||P,D,21,13||17,K,11||E,A,19,22||2,9,M||C,14,F,12||3,6,18||4,10,1||8,Q,O,H||5,7,J||Total||Avg|
|4||France 4-way Open||FR||19||23||-1||22||23||27||20||-1||18||15||-1||20||-5||27||-1||214||21.4|
FAI Outdoor World Meet 2022