Valeria Cardenas wins at the last minute
What a race! Practically at the last minute, Valeria Cardenas secured the title of IWGA Athlete of the Year 2022. In the end, no more than 346 votes decided about the victory and the second place. Flying Disc performed great today, topping the poll twice and having more than decent success in both Germany and Colombia. In the 2022 IWGA Contestant and Team of the Year voting, both awards went to athletes from the World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF).
With 35,769 votes in the final round, bronze medalist with her team at The World Games 2022, Valeria Cardenas (23) from Colombia secured the individual title. In second place, after an exciting finish in the last 24 hours, was TWG champion and Muaythai fighter Monika Chochlikova (27) from Slovakia (35,423 votes). Third place went to the most successful competitor of The World Games 2022 in Birmingham, USA, Johana Viveros Mondragon (28) from Colombia (14,723 votes in the final round). She won four gold medals and one silver medal in roller speed skating.
In the Team Flying Disc ranking, he also did not miss a chance for success. The team from Germany, which took fourth place at The World Games 2022, was the best in the competition just ended (13,262 votes). Second place was taken by the German Women’s Fistball team, the gold medalist of the women’s debut at TWG 2022. The third place went to the players from Switzerland, winning gold in the 640 kg category at the Games.
IWGA President José Perurena congratulated all the winners and runners-up on their success: “Being named Athlete or Team of the Year is a great achievement. Those who reached the podium in the voting have not only victories and medals, but efforts. It’s equally important to inspire your own fans and find recognition for your performances. From my point of view, it is certainly also a huge satisfaction from all the hard work and training diligence.”
23 athletes and 12 teams compete for titles
In early January, the IWGA began fan voting with 23 nominees for the individual title and 12 nominees for the team award. After the first round, the top ten players and the top seven teams advanced to the finals, which will start on January 22nd. The winners along with the second and third place winners will receive a trophy and a commemorative diploma. Candidates were nominated by their respective federations. The condition for entering the competition was to attend TWG 2022 last summer in Birmingham, Alabama.
Voting closed at 12:00 GMT on Tuesday, January 31, 2023. As for the teams, it was clear from the start that Germany would be hard to beat. Much more exciting was the individual decision race. On Tuesday morning, both leaders were still practically tied. It wasn’t until the final sprint that Colombia’s Valeria Cardenas was about to decide the title fight in her favour.
Valeria Cardenas: “It’s a dream!”
Immediately after the announcement of the results, she said: “This nomination for Athlete of the Year is a dream for me and for the entire Flying Disc community in Colombia and around the world. Seeing that everything I worked for over 12 years has now paid off is very special and my wish is to give my best for the sport and for my country. and now they are also part of that dream. This nomination is just the beginning of many things I want to achieve in my sporting career.”
The Colombian helped her team to a bronze medal at the Games in Birmingham (13:11 against Germany). She was also named Ultiworld Woman of the Year 2022.
Despite a slight defeat, Monika Chochlikova was happy with her second place: “First of all, it is a great honor for me that IFMA chose me to represent our Muaythai sport, and secondly, I really did not expect so many people to join the vote, but not only it surprised me. These people actively shared the vote on their social media, and many famous athletes and celebrities voted for me and shared it with their audience. Even though Slovakia is a small country with only 5 million inhabitants, the mobilization was huge. Thank you to everyone who voted for me.” The Muaythai Federation IFMA nominated the Slovak after she won the gold medal at TWG 2022 (category -51 kg). She was distinguished by the fact that she competed in Birmingham not only in Muaythai, but also in kickboxing.
The Germans defeated the undefeated
The Ultimate Team from Germany was left without a medal at The World Games, but they did raise quite a bit of awareness. What made them special? At TWG 2022, the German team put on an impressive performance, defeating the “unbeatable” US team in a pool game after entering the competition as the second-last seed.
The German national team at The World Games featured: Samuel Beutenmüller, Kyoko Binnewies, Schlor Conrad, Steffen Doscher, Anna Gerner, Torben Hornschemeyer, Simona Christiane Lieberth, Nico Müller, Annika Prien, Katharina Schulze, Sebastian Spiegel, Lena Trautmann, Levke Walczak and Marvin Waldvogel.
Robert “Nob” Rauch, president of the World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF), spoke with great enthusiasm: “On behalf of the global Flying Disc community, I would like to wholeheartedly congratulate Valeria Cardenas of Colombia and the German national team on this great achievement. winning in both categories. This is an incredible recognition for Valeria as an outstanding player throughout last year, and for Team Germany for their performance together at TWG in Birmingham. We extend our sincerest thanks to all the fans who voted for them over the past month.”
A final look at the “summary” of the awards: Germany won one gold and one silver medal, Colombia won one gold and one bronze medal.
World games is a multi-sport event organized every four years by the International World Games Association, organized with the support of the International Olympic Committee. The 2022 World Games took place in Birmingham, Alabama, USA from July 7-17, 2022. 3,600 athletes from 34 sports and 100 countries participated in the Games. The 12th edition of The World Games will be held in Chengdu, CHN in 2025.