Estonian Jaan Roose wins a slacklining competition in Italy

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Estonian Jaan Roose has won the prestigious Red Bull Airlines slacklining competition in Italy, despite suffering a small injury before the event; another Estonian, Tauri Vahesaar, finished second.

On the weekend of 8-9 October, twelve of the carefully selected and presumably “strongest” “trick-liners” from around the world gathered to Catania, Italy, to compete at a slacklining – the act of walking or balancing along a suspended length of flat webbing that is tensioned between two anchors – event organised for the fourth time by the Austrian energy drink producer, Red Bull.

Taking place between historic buildings, the slackliners tested the spectators’ nerves – a few thousand people gathered at the Piazza Bellini – seven metres above the ground and without a safety net.

The top spot of the podium went to Roose, who managed to win the sought-after first place despite suffering a small injury before the event.

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Roose originates from Matsuri – a small village near the Estonian-Russian border. It is where the 24-year old Roose started his constant training six years ago and he still exercises and prepares for difficult tricks here.

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He told the Estonian Public Broadcasting that slacklining is a tough sport, both mentally and physically. “It is very challenging, not least for the fact that once you fall, you will not have a second chance.”

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Indeed, many slackliners have seriously injured themselves or even met tragic ends.

Roose has caught media attention in his homeland before – he worked as a slackline artist for Madonna, demonstrating his skills during the superstar’s MDNA World Tour concerts.

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Apart from Roose, the tricks-and-stunts event in Italy brought success to another Estonian – Tauri Vahesaar won the “best trick” award for his stunt called the “Estonian Revert”. Brazilian Pedro Rafael Marques scored a third place at the event.

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Cover: Jaan Roose at the Slackline Masters competition in July 2016. Images courtesy of Jaan Roose and Red Bull Airlines.

About the author: Estonian World

Estonian World is a global independent online magazine, founded in London in 2012 and headquartered in Tallinn, Estonia. The magazine has editorial representations in London, Atlanta, Toronto and Tallinn, and contributors all over the world, on every continent.