Hard work pays off for Italians
Vitto Coppola and Kristina Garifullina of Italy emerged on top in the open Latin category of the 2016 World DanceSports Federation Cebu Open last Saturday night at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.
It was sweet victory for the pair, who admitted they had to work doubly hard in training to prepare for this event.
In Italy, they said they had to wake up early in the morning from Mondays to Fridays to do different exercises for the upper and lower body.
“We wake up at six o’clock in the morning and we go directly to our academy to dance,” the 23-year-old Coppola said.
But all the hardships were worth it, especially for the 18-year-old Garifullina, who captured the attention of the crowd with her swift five-turn spin in the final round.
After they were announced as champions, Garifullina, who is actually Russian but based in Italy, showed off her patented spinning move again in their victory performance to the delight of the packed crowd at the Pacific Grand Ballroom of the posh hotel.
The duo of Simone Casula and Laura Marras settled for the silver to complete Italy’s 1-2 finish. Spain’s David Diaz Falcon and Mireia Sanchez finished third.
The Cebuano duo sensation of Wilbert Aunzo and Pearl Marie Cañeda only managed a fourth place finish.
‘Not our lucky day’
In the open standard jig, Russia’s Ilya Kornev and Daria Zhukova took home the gold medal, dethroning last year’s champions Brodie Barden and Lana Skrgic-de Fonseka of Australia.
Barden and Skrgic-de Fonseka landed second while Manila’s pair of German Enriquez and Ma. Danella Renee Publico managed bronze medals.
Barden and Skrgic-de Fonseka, who were the poster couple of the event, also finished second in the open Latin category last year but fell short this year.
“It is not our lucky day but we will continue to practice,” Barden said. “The couples in the Latin were very good.”
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Cebu City Sports Commission (CCSC) Edward Hayco was happy with the outcome of the event.
“The competitors and the spectators were thrilled with all the energy in the ballroom,” Hayco said. “It was electrifying.”