From dawn to dusk… and further on . Without giving up!
Unipol Arena, temple of bolognaise basketball, is used to challenges, but this 15 hours of agility it’s likely to be remembered among records .
Time schedule was dense with trials: Team Jumping Small and Medium and Team Agility Large and Small.
At 6.30 in the morning, spectators were already at the entrance in the rose-colored light of dawn, a very encouraging sign for the long day to come.
Going through the subterranean tunnel usually used by basketball athletes to go inside the field is such an inexplicable emotion - as athletes say. Even if it’s midweek, also today everyone is here at the Arena, crowded by the audience waiting for the show. It is also a responsibility, not only because each competitor represents a country but also because thousands people are watching, and even if you have few minutes to enter the field, that is precisely the moment when you realize where you are. A World Championship is always a World Championship, even in agility!
Medium is the first category, 123 dogs between 35 and 43 cm with the determination of a panther, they face 21 obstacles in the course, sometimes barking madly, just to jump, at the end of the course, held and embraced by their human friend with whom they’ve faced the course.
On the bleachers it seems to be in a football stadium, there are different areas for supporters from all over the World and many banners to cheer up competitors. It could be strange to think how so many people from all over the World have crossed an ocean, a continent or just travelled so far just to have the chance to see those great champions… but it’s not so strange at all: agility is a very riveting sport!
Competition is really great and tight because agility is a very popular sport and here we have the best competitors of the World. In the Jumping Team Medium trial, Czech Republic is on the podium: the dam did a really wonderful job, with great results. At the second step, with a variance of just two seconds there’s the Swiss Team (again!!! 3rd yesterday, 2nd today….it’s thanks to their chocolate?) and last but not least the Poland Team.
Just only a slight bit of variance when the competition is so tight!
Prize Giving Ceremonies are really a funny moment because all the audience is on the field: Swiss supporters, for example, have funny hats shaped as a gruyère and big, thunderous cow bells; Denmark’ Supporters wear classical Viking helmets with blonde braids… French are wild-eyed fanatics dyed with the their flag’s colors. Each with its performance!
The second trial of the day is for the small category, judged by Sandra Deidda. It’s really funny to see those little dogs: they run like ferret or rabbits, 60% of the competitors’ breed in this category is made by Shetland Sheepdogs, but there’s also a 14% of Poodles, really impressive, and a 10% of gutsy Parson Russell Terrier. Jumps’ height is 30 cm, and the length of the course is 173 mt.
Sweden triumphs, followed by Russia and Slovenia. Italy is upswinging with a clean run, two courses with a penalty and unfortunately an elimination which compromised a good position in the rank.
We’re just at the mid… now there’s the agility trial, the most technical and demanding trial. Courses by the judge Sascha Grunder are really beautiful, he’s going to judge both the trials helped by the Italian judge, Fulvio Frixione for the contact zones. Up to now, all the courses, also those by Sandra Deidda, have been really appreciated by competitors for the great liberty of interpretation, which also the aficionados had the pleasure to appreciate the different kind of training techniques used by the competitors.
Athletes are doing a great job, but everyone will be breathless until the end because there are many dogs with excellent performances… not only but Encore, with Gianluca Schingaro, Team Italy is on heat and will run at the end with all the other dogs on heat.
It will be only after his clean run that the Arena will literally “explode” with joy, stadium chants and bugles…and all the Italian Team bursting and partying with the volunteers. On the second step of the podium there’s Great Britain and on the other side USA Team, again with both with few cents of variance!
Really a great competition today, with a warm and very lively audience, and the same can be said for the Small category trial which is going to be on until 21.00… still with an Arena full of people warmed up by our tireless speaker and great master of ceremonies Stefano Marelli!
On the first step of the podium, in small category, there’s Czech Republic, that now is the winner of the World Championship Team Small.
Many congrats to: Olga Edrová with “Bodie” (Shetland Sheepdog), Adéla Havlíková with Bejka (Zwergpinscher), Pepe with Dita Korcová (Poodle) and Martina Konecná with Inch (Shetland Sheepdog).
Germany and Austria follow with just few seconds of variance. Great Britain is the winner of World Championship Team Large, Slovenia is second and France third. Italy is among the top ten, in the ninth place.
It has been a really long day… and tomorrow is going to be the same, with Jumping Individual trials for Large, Medium and Small and the Team Agility Medium trial!