Fabriana Airas wants more Gold
A total of nine Member Federations of the International World Games Association (IWGA) have identified their top athletes for The World Games next year in Birmingham, USA (July 7-17, 2022) during December. Archery, DanceSport, Finswimming, Floorball, Flag Football, Racquetball, Sumo and World Skate have made their entries into the database of qualifiers, as on 20th December.
The list of participants for the eleventh edition of the multisport event is steadily increasing. More than 1,000 quota places (600 in November) have been allocated. In addition, the database now lists 338 participants by name; this is 192 more entries by name than in the previous month.
Among those qualified by name is the best athlete of The World Games 2017 in Wroclaw, Poland. Fabriana Airas won gold three times and silver twice in Wroclaw in Speed Skating. The Colombian will be defending her titles as The World Games Champion in Birmingham. Also looking for gold again is Simon Albrecht from Germany, who stood on the top of the podium twice in Poland. The speed skater already secured his ticket to defend his title in November. The German top athlete used the qualification to secure a starting number for no less than six races in Birmingham.
As Karate world champion, Sandra Sanchez made sure she will be participating in The World Games 2022 well ahead of time. The Spaniard will travel to Birmingham as the reigning Olympic champion. In the final, the karateka won in Tokyo against the Japanese Kiyou Shimizu. However at The World Games 2017 in Wroclaw, Sandra Sanchez lost the fight for gold against Shimizu. Whether it comes to ‘the revenge for the revenge’ in Birmingham is still open. The field of participants will be completed according to the status of the world ranking on 1st March 2022.
Meanwhile, finswimmer Petra Senanszky can be sure that she will be able to defend her two titles as The World Games champion in the discipline bi-fin from 2017. In Birmingham the 2019 European champion can double her gold medal tally.
Mexico's Paolo Longoria gets the chance to win her third gold medal in her third participation in The World Games. After her successes in Kaohsiung in 2009 and Cali in 2013, the newly crowned world champion secured her starting spot for the Games in the USA at the championships in Guatemala. In 2017 she was unable to defend her title; Racquetball was not on the programme in Poland.
Anyway, it was a good qualifying month for Mexico! Athletes from the USA's neighbouring country also managed to get into position in Speed Skating, Flag Football, and DanceSport in the discipline Rock'n'Roll.
A total of 73 nations are sending athletes to the Games in Birmingham (as of 20/12/2021). New on the list since November is, among others, Mongolia with five athletes in Sumo. Panama qualified in both men's and women's Flag Football at the World Championships in Israel. Karateka Emil Pavlov is currently the only athlete representing his country, North Macedonia.
The USA still leads the list of nations with 275 participants in 72 medal events. In the meantime, Flag Football, Speed Skating with Kelsey Rodgers at the start, and a Rock'n'Roll pair in DanceSport are also included. In second place in the nations’ ranking (by number of participants) is currently Germany with 220 qualified athletes competing in 64 Medal events. Italy is in third place (171/55).
A look ahead: in January 2022 the list of qualifiers will continue to fill up. Ju-Jitsu will then use the world rankings to allocate its starting spots. Boules, Bowling, Karate, Orienteering and Wheelchair Rugby will hold competitions to allocate their athletes in The World Games 2022.
Qualifications for The World Games are conducted by the International Federations. One of the criteria is that only the best athletes or teams in a sport or discipline can compete at the Games. The sport entries deadline is 31st March 2022.
All qualified athletes and countries can be found on The World Games website.
Several of the qualified athletes will be presented in the new series ‘Building up to Birmingham’, on social media and on The World Games website.
The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the International World Games Association, organised with the support of the International Olympic Committee. The 11th edition of The World Games will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 7-17 July 2022. 3,600 athletes from 34 sports and over 100 countries will take part in The World Games.