The World Champs of Para-Rafting are over: the RX discipline decided the first Overall Champions in history.
Iarysh Denis, Potanin Viktor (RUS), Salvatore Cutaia (ITA) and Igor Bondar (UKR) confirmed the 1st place in the Amputee category: the 120 points of RX gold guaranteed to them the Overall victory in the final against the Italians Giandinoto Massimo, Montagna Marco, Novella Riccardo and Sperandini Rosario (1.30-1.32.77 seconds).
The Open Category's RX final B was taken by Plotnikov Dmitry (RUS), Pavlovic Andjela, Ivanovic Marina (SRB) and Bedokurov Gled (UKR) (Bronze Overall). The final A confirmed the Overall results: gold for Romanenko Oleg, Konovalov Denis, Galdin Andrei (RUS) and Chemeris Yuriy (UKR); silver for Burakov Eduard (RUS), Ivanovic Marco, Ilic Milos (SRB) and Markovsky Illy (UKR).
Giandinoto Massimo, Sperandini Rosario (ITA), Konovalov Denis and Galdin Andrei (RUS) are the Overall Champions of the Mix category, winning the 3 different disciplines. The only two girls of the competition (Pavlovic Andjela and Ivanovic Marina) are on the second step of the podium (RX and Overall) with Iarysh Denis and Potanin Viktor (RUS). The RX bronze confirmed the Overall 3rd place for Novella Riccardo, Montagna Marco (ITA), Ivanovic Marco and Ilic Milos (SRB) who won the final B against Salvatore Cutaia (ITA), Igor Bondar, Markovsky Illy and Bedokurov Gleb (UKR).
Most of the athletes are competitors in other sports.
"My left foot has been amputated when I was 9" explains Massimo Giandinoto (winner of the Mix Category) "and since then I have been considering every day of my life as a challenge. At 26 years old I started running and filling my days with sport (He is a 100m and 200m athlete). 3, then 4, then 5 days a week until, training every day, I won the Italian title of 60m and 200m dashes. I first tried Rafting for fun but then the same happened: wearing the National flag is a dream come true; doing it with a team is something unique, paddling together literally in the same boat is priceless."
"And it is only the beginning" declares the WRF President Danilo Barmaz "These athletes are THE example of what "Always moving forward" means. A warm thanks to every person who paddled on Dnieper river and has been a part of this historic race, directed by the judges Mr Vladmir Petukhov from Russia and the WRF Vice-President Boris Purjakov".
It is definitely the beginning for the deaf team from Serbia: Andjela Pavlovic writes "Last July we first paddled in a river, we trained for 2 months and competed in Zubin Potok at the World Cup and we are happy about the results here. We are a volleyball team and we often participate in international tournment: now we train out of the water focusing on a match in Poland on 26 October, but we are looking forward to see what Rafting will show us."