Dortmund (GER) has been confirmed as the venue for the Final of the FEI World Cup™ Vaulting 2015/2016 series from 3-6 March 2016. The FEI Bureau had originally allocated the Final to Vienna (AUT), but when the Vienna Organising Committee announced on 18 November 2015 that their event was cancelled, the application process was re-opened. Bids were subsequently received from Dortmund and Saumur (FRA).
The FEI Bureau decided to allocate the Final to Dortmund, and with the host agreement now in place it is all-systems-go for a thrilling finale to the winter-long series. A total of six Male and six Female vaulters have made the cut for the Final, along with four Pas-de-Deux partnerships.
Switzerland’s Simone Jaïser secured her third win of the five-leg qualifying series when coming out on top in Leipzig (GER) earlier this month where she posted a maximum 10 artistic score in the first round of competition. The 29-year-old, who was runner-up at the 2015 FEI World Cup™ Final, claimed the European individual title in fine style at Aachen (GER) last summer and is right on top of her game. Her only defeat this season was at the hands of Italy’s Anna Cavallaro who topped the line-up in Salzburg (AUT) in December, pipping the Swiss vaulter by the narrowest of margins.
The Dortmund Final will be a fascinating re-match for this pair, as Cavallaro had to settle for silver behind Jaïser at the FEI European Championships in Aachen last August. The Italian was a double-winner in the current season’s qualifying series, also coming out on top in Paris (FRA) in November where Jaïser did not compete. Completing the list of those qualified for the Female Individual Final are Anne-Sophie Musset from France, Germany’s Kristina Boe, Isabel Fiala from Austria, and Switzerland’s Nadja Büttiker.
Jannis Drewell (GER), who set last year’s FEI European Championships alight with his high-flying and high-energy performances, has continued through the winter series in the same vein and looks untouchable for the FEI World Cup™ 2015/2016 Individual Male title. On his three appearances during the five qualifying rounds he was nothing short of sensational, with breath-taking jumps and exceptional strength earning big scores for the 24-year-old whose infectious enthusiasm captivated spectators as he registered three successive victories in Salzburg (AUT), Mechelen (BEL) and on home turf at Leipzig.
He will be joined at the Final by compatriot Daniel Kaiser, who topped the podium at the opening leg of the series in Madrid (ESP) in November, and by French vaulters Clement Taillez and Vincent Haennel, along with Switzerland’s Lukas Heppler and Lukas Klouda from the Czech Republic.
The Pas-de-Deux has really established itself as a crowd-pleaser in recent years and the reigning European silver medallists, Germany’s Pia Engelberty and Torben Jacobs, asserted their authority when securing their second victory of the FEI World Cup™ Vaulting 2015/2016 qualifying season at Leipzig 10 days ago.
However Italy’s Erika Di Forti and Lorenzo Lupacchini really sparkled in Salzburg, where they pinned Germany’s Jolina Ossenberg-Engels and Timo Gerdes into runner-up spot. The Italian duo were hampered by a fall in Leipzig where they had to settle for second place, but they could prove the strongest opposition to Engelberty and Jacobs at the much-anticipated Final in which Ossenberg-Engels and Gerdes, and the exciting American sister-act of Kimberly and Cassidy Palmer who topped the podium in Paris, will also compete.
The full list of qualified vaulters, calendar of events, results and standings here.