France are overall DIPC champions

France emerged overall winners while the United States of America battled for the other two podium places as the Fifth Dubai International Parachuting Championship (DIPC) concluded at the Skydive Dubai drop zone on Saturday.


The French picked up a total of 13 medals, including seven gold, two silver and four bronze followed by the USA who had four gold and three silver and bronze each, while Russia was placed third with three gold, six silver and four bronze to complete the three podium spots.


Saif bin Markhan Al Ketbi, the Director of the Office of the Crown Prince of Dubai Yousuf Al Hammadi, President, Emirates Aerosports Federation (EAF) was joined by John Grubbstorm, President, International Aerosports Federation (IAF) and Mohammad Yousuf, Championship Director, DIPC at the final prize distribution held late on Friday evening.


Held under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council (DSC), the fifth edition of this annual competition attracted a total of 1,000 competitors from 42 countries from across the world vying for a total prize of more than Dhs 1.5 million.


Sheikh Hamdan, who takes a personal interest in the sport, attended the final two days of the event and joined some of the competitors in a volleyball match. He also toured the facilities at the Skydive Dubai drop zone and met competitors.


On the final day of the competition, Nicholas Batsch was the pick of the jumpers as the American walked away with gold in the men’s Speed Canopy Piloting, Distance Canopy Piloting and the overall top spot in Canopy Piloting.


Despite this strong showing, Batsch could do nothing in stopping countryman Curt Bartholomew from winning gold in the men’s Accuracy Canopy Piloting. The Americans also could not achieve a podium in the teams Canopy Piloting with the honours going to a more consistent France, Russia and hosts the UAE.


Among the individual competition for women it was the jumpers from Belarus who fared well with Nataliya Nikitsiuk and Natalia Zimina taking gold and silver in the women’s Individual Accuracy competition leaving the Russian duo of Olga Lepezina and Svetlana Klenina to jointly share the bronze with Frenchwoman Deborah Ferrand.


China was another country that impressed with a tally of six medals including a couple of gold in the teams Accuracy Landing for both men and women, while hosts the UAE improved on their last year’s performance with one silver and three bronze medals to end ninth in the standings table at the end of eight days of the competition.


Country                Gold      Silver     Bronze  Total


France  7              2              4              13


USA       4              3              3              10


Russia   3              6              4              13


Belarus 3              2              1              6


China     2              3              1              6


Canada 2              0              0              2


Switzerland        1              0              0              1


Spain     0              2              1              3


UAE       0              1              3              4


Belgium                0              1              0              1


Poland  0              1              0              1


Germany             0              1              0              1


Kazakhstan         0              0              1              1


Great Britain      0              0              1              1


Slovenia               0              1              1              2


Sweden               0              0              1              1



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