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There are no surprises so far. The two Russian top teams, Sky Panthers and Black Cat, and the French national A-Team Maubeuge, posted scores of 20 points and higher for a relatively slow sequence. They have now the opportunity to copy Airspeed Odyssey's success in getting through a 10-round meet with no scores below 20 points.
Black Cat actually matched the French 21-pointer within working time but lost a point in the judging room. The Sky Panthers completed the whole Block 4 (Monopod - Monopod) on the 4th page and added the first formation of Block 9 for the highscore of 23 points. That was an amazing start for the Russian team.
Five teams compete in IPC's female category, and the new French line-up took the lead with a 16-pointer. The JetBats completed 15 points in time and lost two points in 3-2 decisions by the judges. This has brought three teams tied together in 2nd place after the first round.
Reigning US 4-way champion with DeLand Goove, Solly Williams, is on competition site in Stupino, Russia, and provided the NSL News with some information of the final countdown to the FAI World Cup 2007. He mentioned that the internet connection has been very sporadic. However, he will try to send some additional updates once in a while.
A few teams have been training at Kolomna, which is 60km down the road. However, today was the last training day, and the clouds broke mid am, and the show was on the road with most teams making two to four jumps before sunset. The draw is about to commence 8pm Moscow time. In fact, it's out as I write this. Word is there are no 5-point random jumps, which has been the trend here in the past...
We start with 4-way in the am and hope to see a grand contest here. The field will be missing USA representation, but nonetheless we can expect a good show down in 4-way and 8-way. I am here with the teams from Denmark and Germanany. I will follow up with more information later.