Zhang Hao revalidates his title as world champion in Inline Freestyle

July 12, 2019

The Chinese Zhang Hao has won his third consecutive title of world champion in Classic Slalom, belonging to the discipline of Inline Freestyle, but he has not been able to round off the day on the podium in pairs. His solo performance took him to first place but he couldn’t achieve so in the pairs competition where he achieved fifth place with his compatriot Ye Hao Qin in a modality that resists him.

Zhang Hao has signed a brilliant performance in Classic Slalom that has earned him the almost unanimous recognition of the judges, with four first places out of a total of five, which has served to impose himself with authority to the rest of rivals. The Italian Lorenzo Guslandi -third in the Arnhem World Cup 2018- has won the silver medal and his compatriot Valerio Degli Agostini, the bronze. Spaniards Antonio Castillo, who has announced his retirement, and Pau Bosch have qualified in sixth and eighth positions, respectively.

In the women's category, the Chinese Su Fei Qian has also managed to revalidate the title of world champion. The Asian skater has overtaken the Russian Daria Kuznetsova - third in Arnheim 2018 - and the Polish Klaudia Hartmais, who have been awarded the silver and bronze medals, respectively. The Spanish Alba Garcia has obtained a meritorious sixth place.

With regard to the modality of couples, Italians Valerio Degli Agostini and Lorenzo Guslandi have returned to the podium, this time to collect the gold medal. This is their third world title, not consecutive since they failed in Nanjing 2017. The silver medal has been awarded to Gu Kun and Chen Zeng while Masayoshi Shibagaki and Taiki Shibagaki (Japan) have won the bronze.

The disappointment in pairs has come from the hand of Zhang Hao and Ye Hao Qin, who still do not climb to the podium in this competition. The second place in Arnhem 2018 has not served as a stimulus to unseat the Italians Degli Agostini and Guslandi, and they have fallen to an unexpected fifth final place.

The Spanish duo formed by the Aragonese Paula Arroyo, 17, and Miguel Peña, 16, have qualified in seventh place.

Lastly, Sofia Bogdanova, a 13-year-old Russian skater and one of the stars of this discipline, has amply confirmed the predictions and has taken the gold medal in the junior category with authority. In men, Kunji Gu, from China, has been the winner.

PHOTO: N. Olano/WRG

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