Photo: GCL / Stefano Grasso
London Knights are bringing out the big guns in order to secure a win on home soil, as the Global Champions League kicks off at Royal Hospital Chelsea. Currently in seventh place in the league following a third place podium finish at last weekend’s leg in Berlin, local hero and Olympic gold medallist Ben Maher (GBR) will be joined by World Number One Kent Farrington (USA) as they hope to better the result and take top spot.
Hamburg Diamonds, who exploited their home country advantage to keep hold of the ranking lead in Berlin, will be looking for a strong finish from Jos Verlooy (BEL) and Harrie Smolders (NED) to maintain their position at the top of the table. Alberto Zorzi (ITA) and Janika Sprunger (SUI) will be hot on their heels for Valkenswaard United as they look to close the eight point gap. Mexico Amigos are currently in third place in the League and will be fielding two top competitors in Christian Ahlmann (GER) and Henrik von Eckerman (SWE), as they take every opportunity to move up the table with only three events remaining in the series. Close behind them are the St Tropez Pirates, who will be hoping that Jérôme Guery (BEL) and Simon Delestre (FRA) can recreate the magic of Paris after a mixed season.
There is just one point between fifth and sixth position in the league. Sheikh Al Bin Khalid Al Thani (QAT) and Bassem Hassan Mohammed (QAT) of Doha Fursan Qatar will be looking to maintain their slim lead ahead of the Rome Gladiators, who will be represented this weekend by Olympic gold medallist Laura Kraut (USA) and Lorenzo de Luca (ITA). Also hoping to improve their mid-table positions are Miami Glory with Denis Lynch (IRE) and Paris Sellon (USA), last on the podium when they finished second in Chantilly, and ninth place Shanghai Swans with Olympic gold medallist Roger-Yves Bost (FRA) and Daniel Deusser (GER).
Hoping to sneak into the top half of the table with a podium finish this weekend are Cannes Stars with Christian Kukuk (GER) and Jane Richard Philips (SUI); Paris Panthers with Nayel Nassar (EGY) and Darragh Kenny (IRE); and Vienna Eagles with Neils Bruynseels (BEL) and Emanuel Andrade (VEN). Looking for a reversal of fortunes will be Martin Fuchs (SUI) and Lauren Hough (USA) for Chantilly Pegasus, who are currently in thirteenth place; father and son Eric and Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) for Madrid in Motion; and Cascais Charms with Philip Houston (GER) and David Will (GER).
Monaco Aces with Daniel Bluman (ISR) and Danielle Goldstein (ISR); Berlin Lions with Max Kühner (AUT) and Anna Kellnerova (CZE); and last place Moscow Bears with Ramzy Al Duhami (KSA) and Kamal Abdullah Bahamdan (KSA) will be fighting for the last meaning points to better their positions before the series finale.