The FEI World Cup™ Vaulting 2013/2014 season opens in Munich (GER) tomorrow (31 October – 3 November) with an exciting twist – pas-de-deux will make its first appearance in this prestigious series, which is now in its third year.
To mark the début of this new format at FEI World Cup™ level, pas-de-deux World and European champions Jasmin Lindner and Lukas Wacha from Austria will compete against their compatriots Evelyn Freund and Stefanie Millinger in Munich’s Olympic stadium, where they will be joined by seven male and six female vaulters from seven nations competing as individuals.
A total of seven pas-de deux teams from Austria, Hungary, Germany, Italy and the USA will then set out on their quest to qualify for the series Final in Bordeaux (FRA) next February alongside the individual vaulters in Paris-Villepinte (FRA) next month, Salzburg in December (AUT) and Leipzig (GER) next January.
Individual vaulting’s crème de la crème
“We have a truly world-class field of athletes competing in this year’s FEI World Cup Vaulting,” Bettina de Rham, FEI Director of Vaulting, Driving and Reining comments. “World and FEI World Cup champion Nicolas Andreani, and last year’s FEI World Cup Vaulting champion Anna Cavallaro, will be defending their titles. They will be challenged by several seasoned athletes, who have competed in the European Championships and the FEI World Cup series, as well a number of younger athletes who are fast coming up through the ranks.
“While World champion Joanne Eccles and European champion Rikke Laumann are unable to compete this year due to work commitments and studies, Anna Cavallaro will still have her work cut out. Switzerland’s Simone Jäiser, last year’s FEI World Cup runner-up and FEI European Vaulting Championships 2013 bronze medallist, will be challenging Anna’s FEI World Cup title from the very outset in Munich.”
Pas-de-Deux entertainment value
The integration of the pas-de-deux competition into the prestigious FEI World Cup™ Vaulting series, which was ratified by the FEI Bureau in July, is also creating a lot of excitement amongst athletes, coaches, organisers and fans.
Over the coming months, the battle between the pas-de-deux teams will be hard-fought, with the four most successful pairs going through to the Bordeaux Final.
“Pas-de-deux carries so much emotion, and has huge entertainment value”, German National coach Ulla Ramge explains.
Kai Vorberg, a former world and European champion, who is now working with the German team, adds: “This is yet another milestone for our sport. Pas-de-deux has developed extremely quickly over the last few years, and the level has become very high. We’re all very much looking forward to seeing the teams in action in the very first series for the pas-de-deux competition”.
We could well see an historical moment for pas-de-deux in this year’s FEI World Cup™ Vaulting – World and European champions Jasmin Lindner and Lukas Wacha, from Austria’s Tyrol region, have their sights set on a “triple”.
In 2012 at Le Mans, the pair made history as the first FEI World Vaulting Champions with two nearly perfect rounds. It was a historic win for Austria too, as it was the country’s first World title in vaulting. Spurred on by this incredible accomplishment, the pair went on to claim pas-de-deux gold at the FEI European Vaulting Championships 2013 in Magna Racino (ITA).
Now, all set with their World and European champion mount Elliot and lunger Klaus Haidacher, they are feeling confident. “We are so excited to get a chance to show our freestyle again this year in front of big crowds,” said Jasmin Lindner.
Austria’s Chef d’Equipe sums up the impending exhilaration in Munich: “The athletes are thrilled by the framework of the pas-de-deux competitions and the organisers completely understand that pas-de-deux is a huge crowd puller. The show factor, alongside the individual performances, will be amazing.”
Facts & Figures:
The third series of FEI World Cup™ Vaulting premieres the pas-de-deux competition.
The defending FEI World Cup™ Vaulting champions are Anna Cavallaro (ITA) and Nicolas Andreani (FRA). The French Vaulter is also World champion.
Ten female vaulters, nine male vaulters and seven pas-de-deux will battle it out to qualify for the FEI World Cup™ Vaulting 2013/14 Final in Bordeaux, France (7-8 February 2014).
FEI World Cup™ Vaulting 2013/2014 Calendar
1 Munich (GER) 31 October-3 November 2013
2 Stuttgart (GER) 13-17 November 2013 (*pas-de-deux only)
3 Paris-Villepinte (FRA) 29-30 November 2013
4 Salzburg (AUT) 5-8 December 2013
5 Leipzig (GER) 16-19 January 2014
FEI World Cup™ Vaulting 2013/2014 Final – Bordeaux (FRA) 7-8 February 2014