World medallists since 2006, Russia's Dudchenko and Pilipchuk take a second World Acro title in Men's Pairs12/07/2014
Some things never get old.
|Russian veterans Konstantin Pilipchuk and Alexei Dudchenko won their second consecutive World title in Men's Pairs Friday night in Levallois, followed by Ilya Rybinski and Yauheni Novikau (BLR) and Kieran Whittle and Farai Bright-Garamukanwa (GBR) with the bronze.|
Russian Men's Pair Konstantin Pilipchuk and Alexei Dudchenko, who have medalled at every World Championships since 2006, showed that they are still the class of the field at the 2014 World Acro Championships Friday in Levallois (FRA). The reigning World champions from 2012 went about their business in dominating fashion, delivering a playful yet powerful Combined exercise in finals for 28.285 points and a second consecutive World gold medal.
"This makes five World Championships medals for me, and it's fantastic," said Duchenko, whose smile rarely leaves his face, even when Pilipchuk is doing a handstand on his head. "I love France," he continued. "It's the best country to win a World championship in. And Paris, it's fantastic."
Dressed as bullfighters sans capes, Belarus's Ilya Rybinski and Yauheni Novikau won silver with a highly crowd-appealing routine set to Spanish music. Their 28.210 in finals gave the crowd something to whistle about, though Pilipchuk and Dudchenko were slightly superior in difficulty and artistry. But Dudchenko and Pilipchuk, who won World silver in 2006, 2008 and 2010 before finally winning the World title in 2012, can probably relate.
Some of Pilipchuk and Dudchenko's biggest competition came from their own country in Igor Mishev and Nikolay Suprunov (RUS), who technically qualified to finals in bronze medal position but were not able to compete there due to the one-team- per-country rule in finals.
Bronze was a big achievement for Britain's Kieran Whittle and Farai Bright-Garamukanwa, a young Mixed Pair who were not on anyone's radar as medal contenders before the end of their final routine. The duo qualified to the six-team final in fourth place (behind Russia's second pair), and maintained their standing with a precise Combined exercise for 27.025.
"I was just amazed, because we were only really here for experience, and then to actually end up wininng a medal is wonderful," said Bright-Garamukanwa, 15, who has been training with Whittle, 19, in Southampton, England for the past three years. Due to injuries, the British Senior champions have not done many competitions, but have worked hard to increase their difficulty before Worlds.
"Not at all," Whittle laughed when asked if the duo expected a medal. "It took a lot of lot of hard work. We came in just wanting to prove to ourselves that we could do clean routines, and in the end it paid off. So we're just really happy that we got this far and got a medal."
Still, the night belonged to Russia, who proved that they can still out-Acro their biggest rivals. Pilipchuk, an amateur photographer who snapped his teammates in between his own turns during podium training, was not able to capture the moment in finals, but made it worthwhile for the other photographers by comically biting his medal on the medal stand.
"He's a very good photographer. He's the best photographer in Russia!" the effusive Dudchenko exclaimed, smiling.
And once again, he's a part of the best Men's Acrobatic Pair on the planet.
|10/07/2014 12/07/2014||24th Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships 2014||LEVALLOIS (FRA)||ACRO|