In the exhilarating world of the FCI Agility World Championships, the journey to the podium is anything but predictable. Teams start off with the jumping course, a showcase of pure speed and finesse, but it’s the agility round that shakes things up. With teams reverse-seeded based on their jumping performance, the agility round is where dark horses rise and favorites face the pressure to stay on top. The combination of pressure and the inevitable faults that come with running dogwalks and a-frames results in breathtaking shifts in the leaderboard. Below, I created these graphics to highlight the surprising paths that some winning teams took from their initial jumping results to their final overall (jumping + agility, combined) position.
- In the team competition, the countries that medaled improved their position after the jumping round by an average of 1.83 positions. In the individual competition, the handlers that medaled improved their position after the jumping round by an average of 6.58 positions. This makes sense because the team competition takes the best 3 scores from 4 dogs which protected teams from having 1 mistake take them out of the running.
- Only ONE country and only ONE individual medaled LOWER than their jumping seeding, Italy went from 1st in jumping to silver in Team Large. Channie Elmestedt went from 1st in jumping to silver in Individual Intermediate.
- In team, the biggest leap to a medal came in the medium class where Luxembourg rose from 10th seed to earn bronze. The biggest leap to a GOLD medal also came in the medium class where Great Britain rose from 6th seed to capture the gold.
- In individual, both the intermediate and large class saw HUGE shifts from jumping to overall. The biggest leap to a medal was Richter-Sallay Zsófia Timea’s leap from 22nd to bronze medal in the large class. The biggest leap to GOLD also came from the large class with Odone Veronica jumping from 16th seed to a gold individual medal!