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The miltary event in Rio, Brazil, brings together two of the 4-way and 8-way top contenders at this year's World Cup. The CISM dive pool is very different and much easier, however, both teams will perform the same sequences round by round, and the scores can be compared directly.
Hayabusa and Golden Knights are the two best teams that the CISM championship competitions have ever seen in the history of the event. Hayabusa has shattered all previous highscores and won the event every year since 2007. The Golden Knights were the last team that won the CISM 4-way event in 2006. Then Hayabusa turned pro in the Belgian military and took over.
Both teams had three members of the current lineups at the CISM championship of 2007. The Golden Knights competed with Brian Krause, Kurt Isenbarger and Matt Davidson. John Hoover replaced 2006 member Eric Heinsheimer and was the 4th Golden Knight at the 2007 battle with the new Belgian soldiers. Hayabusa's original 3-way (Roy Janssen, Andy and David Grauwels) competed with Luc Verstrepen in the Center Inside slot.
The CISM championship in 2007 was not the first time that Golden Knights and Hayabusa members competed directly with each other. Matt Davidson and Brian Krause were with the Golden Knights at the Shamrock Showdown 2005. John Hoover and Brooks Weiner trained and competed in this 2005 lineup. Hayabusa attended the same event with the original lineup, which had Sven Ibens in the Center Inside position. Hayabusa was new and had no chance by then.
|Shamrock 2005||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4||Round 5||Round 6||Round 7||Round 8||Round 9||Round 10||Total||Avg|
Two Golden Knights (Brian Krause, Matt Davidson) also competed with GKXP (Kirk Verner, Andy Honigbaum) at the World Challenge 2009. Hayabusa placed 3rd (27.5) and GKXP finished in 6th place (24.7) in Bedford.
All four Golden Knights of 2011 competed at the Shamrock Showdown 2010 where Hayabusa competed with Waedong So in the Point slot and placed 2nd behind France with a 22.3 average. However, the Golden Knights were split up to share their skills and experiences with the new 8-way members. Brian Krause and Sean Sweeney competed with the Gold lineup, while Kurt Isenbarger and Matt Davidson were in the Black lineup.
Both teams still did not compete with each other. The Golden Knights won the silver medals for the USA in 8-way, while Arizona Airspeed competed in 4-way. The Hayabusa 2010 lineup ended up in 4th place in Russia last year.
Both teams will now make up for the missed opportunities in the past years and eventually face each other again and with their complete 2011 lineups. Hayabusa has grown into the world's top 4-way contender in the meantime and has to be considered the favorite in Brazil and in Germany. The Golden Knights are still mainly focused on 8-way. However, they are better prepared in 4-way this year and surely one of the strongest underdogs in the history of the sport.