World Rankings – July 2007 (A New #1)

A ton of movement on the rankings list this month as some big 2005 events (WFDF, FPA Worlds, EFC and Vagolino) fall off the list and the 2007 FPA Worlds are added (plus Vagolino, the Swedish Championships and expanded results from the German Championships).

The big news is that there is a new #1 player on the Open list: Fabio Sanna. Fabio has ruled European competitions for the past few seasons and has competed more often than any other player. With his 1/2 finish at this year’s FPA Worlds in Co-op and Pairs, he finally secures the points to jump to the top spot. Tom Leitner drops to #2, only 30 points back. His points from sweeping the 2005 FPA Worlds dropped off this month, creating the opening for Fabio’s ascent.

The rankings list after any world championships is the most dynamic, and this year is no exception. The freestyle story this year is that Europe is not only an emerging region, it has matured to the point where several European teams contend for any given title. That is reflected in the rankings, where 11 of 20 players hail from Europe.

Some big moves upward and some big drops too. Clay Collera re-enters the top 3, and Matt Gauthier reaches a career-best #4. Pat Marron moves up to #6, Piccio to #7 and Andrea Meola to #8. Matteo Gaddoni and Boguslaw Bul enter the top 20, and Dave Murphy jumps back into the top 40 after some time off.

Lots of points disappeared from the rankings this month with both the 2005 WFDF and 2005 FPA Worlds cycling off. Dave Lewis and Arthur Coddington, 2005 WFDF champions, each take a big hit. Lewis falls out of the top 10 for the first time in a decade, down from 5 to 13. Arthur Coddington, who has taken a break from the worlds the last two years, drops from 10 to 32. Dave Schiller, who swept the 2005 worlds with Tom Leitner, drops from 13 to 24.

We’re also seeing some impact from the 2007 rankings changes, which increased the number of events counted toward the rankings to eight and revamped the scoring tables. Active players are seeing a payoff, and consistent performance at Worlds is creating deep point totals for top players.

It’s rare for the women’s list to see much movement. There aren’t many women’s competitions, and upsets in the women’s events have been rare. Not this time. Eleonora Imazio maintains her #1 position, and her world champion teammate Sylvia Caruso rises to the #2 spot. Bianca Strunz has played strong in both women’s and open events this year. She jumps to #5. And Cristina Nicolardi enters the top 10.

Something tells me the shifts in the women’s rankings are not over. The top US women are still at the top of their game, and new players like Ilka Simon (#14) and Gloria Alessandrini (#18) are rising. Amy Schliler and Cindy Kruger lost some points this month, but they will challenge for titles whenever they enter their next tournament.

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