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Did You Know...

... that Niklas Hemlin won his second 4-way Open Gold a decade later?

Niklas Hemlin with Arizona Airspeed at the FAI Dubai Mondial 2012
posted Dec 22nd, 2022 - It is a challenging task to keep the NSL Profiles up-to-date. 34 celebrities in Formation Skydiving competition are currently featured, and most of them are still active in the sport, even if it is in other areas than actual competition, with exits from jump planes and 35 or 50 seconds of working time.

It makes it even worse that the profiles cover only a small number of the important people in the sport who should have their stories told, as well. The NSL News adds related updates to the according profiles whenever it may fit, and new profiles are randomly posted whenever there is time and opportunity.

The passing of a complete decade of Formation Skydiving competition from one world championship title to the next one shall be enough reason to pay attention to a person who is probably the only one who has had the patience and persistence to accomplish such a mission.

The usual pattern of 4-way and 8-way world champions is a series of very successful years with one team and winning a few consecutive FAI gold medals. There are very few exceptions of this pattern, especially in the 4-way Open Class, where the competition is always much tighter than in any other events.

FAI Dubai Mondial 2012
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total Avg
Rank 4-way Open 5,12,E 6,D,B,K O,8,7 N,13,18 10,21,M 19,H,11 C,G,1,A 20,9,15 16,F,P,Q 2,J,4 Total Avg
1 Arizona Airspeed  US  27    34    27 -1 22    23    23 -2 32    25    40    26    279 27.9
2 NMP-PCH Hayabusa  BE  25 -1 34 -2 27 -1 21 -1 23    24 -1 32 -1 27    40    25 -1 278 27.8

Arizona Airspeed - NMP PCH HayaBusa at the FAI Dubai Mondial 2012
Niklas Hemlin with Arizona Airspeed at the FAI Outdoor World Championship 2018
Winning a 4-way Open Class world championship title once, and then again a decade later, seems to be a unique accomplishment, and it happened this year, probably for the first time.

It was almost exactly a decade ago when Arizona Airspeed won the 4-way competition at the FAI Dubai Mondial 2012, with Niklas Hemlin in the lineup as inside center. Niklas Hemlin now won his second FAI 4-way gold medal ten years later with a completely different lineup.

His profile includes the 2012 event and also covers the time period until the outdoor world championship in Australia 2018, where NMP PCH HayaBusa tied the historic 27.9 record average of 2012 and won by two points. The current profile story comes to an end before the Belgian 4-way Open Class world champions of 2014, 2016 and 2018 wiped out the 27.9 and posted the new historic record number of 28.9 at the USPA Nationals 2019. It was the same event where SDC Rhythm XP defeated Arizona Airspeed with Niklas Hemlin and competed for the United States at the FAI Tanay Mondial.

The most important part of Niklas Hemlin's career story was probably written after the events of 2019, as HayaBusa's new and unprecedented performance level and the loss to SDC Rhythm XP did not deter him from trying again. NMP PCH HayaBusa won their next world championship title in Tanay, their 4th consecutive one, while Niklas Hemlin was trying to find a new way how to win his second 4-way Open Class gold medal.

FAI Outdoor World Championship 2018
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total Avg
Rank 4-way Open 21,L,B,G 22,18,17 19,7,O J,16,12 10,A,D,15 Q,M,F,C,N H,20,P,13 6,14,11 E,2,5 4,1,3 Total Avg
1 NMP-PCH Hayabusa  BE  32    21    27 -2 24    22 -3 62 -2 22 -2 20 -1 27 -1 22    279 27.9
2 Arizona Airspeed  US  26 -5 21    27 -1 24    24 -1 60 -1 26    22    27    20    277 27.7

NMP PCH HayaBusa - Arizona Airspeed at the FAI Outdoor World Championship 2018
Niklas Hemlin with Arizona Airspeed at the FAI Outdoor World Championship 2022
Niklas Hemlin and Mikhail Markine, his team mate since 2016, recruited two new team members, Joey Marshall and Chris Kuhlmann, and they tried again, with Brendan Haddon on camera.

Arizona Airspeed's 27.9 record average in Dubai 2012 lasted for seven years, and it is still the highest one posted at an outdoor world championship, only tied by NMP PCH HayaBusa in Australia 2018. In fact, the scores in Australia were reversed almost exactly compared to 2012, after two extremely exciting 10-round battles.

HayaBusa's Dennis Praet and Niklas Hemlin are the only two members of the current lineups who both own the 27.9 record average at an outdoor world championship, not considering David Grauwels who is now filming the Belgians. Winning his second FAI 4-way gold medal this year was still not enough for Niklas Hemlin. He believes that the current Airspeed lineup has the potential to finally set new standards, as HayaBusa did with the 28.9 in 2019.

The Belgian lineup at the USPA Nationals that year (Dennis Praet, Jeroen Nollet, Andy Grauwels and David Grauwels, Luc Van Britsom on camera) is still considered the best team ever by many 4-way fans. Niklas Hemlin and Mikhail Markine with their current lineup added two more years to accomplish this ultimate goal. However, Dennis Praet and Jeroen Nollet have very similar goals in their minds with their two new team mates. Both teams have two more years for the same mission.

FAI Outdoor World Championship 2022
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total Avg
Rank 4-way Open 20,16,B P,D,21,13 17,K,11 E,A,19,22 2,9,M C,14,F,12 3,6,18 4,10,1 8,Q,O,H 5,7,J Total Avg
1 Arizona Airspeed  US  21 -1 28    27    27    31    23    21    20    32    31    261 26.1
2 NMP-PCH Hayabusa  BE  20 -1 25 -2 21    23    28    20 -2 19    17    29    26    228 22.8

Arizona Airspeed - NMP PCH HayaBusa at the FAI Outdoor World Championship 2022
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