The bi-annual Waterski World Championships have
already caught the attention of Waterskiers in 92 countries affiliated to the
International Water Ski Federation - and they don’t even start till August
15th in Tianjin, China! With over 30 million active Waterskiers in the World
today, there is a major battle on the horizon.
Why so much
excitement so early? Apart from the spectacular Dongli Lake site choice,
there are certainly many titles for the taking this time around. Consider the
Emma Sheers (AUS) is both the current Women’s World Slalom
and Jump Champion. Due to recent knee surgery, she will not be in Tianjin to
defend these elusive titles this time around. This opens the door for a
host of potential World Champions in both events.
In Slalom, Karen Truelove (USA), currently ranked No.2, took
the Masters Slalom title in the USA in May. She also took the Waterski World Cup
Slalom title in London last year. She skipped the Waterski World Cup Stop in
Dubna, Russia, two weeks ago just to prepare for this challenge and this could
be her year, unless we have an upset – and this is always possible.
In Womens Jump, the absence of Emma Sheers opens the door for
June Fladborg (DEN), Clementine Lucine (FRA) and Regina Jaquess (USA) and
several others. These three athletes will make it a superb contest – and there
may be some surprises from lower rankings. June Fladborg took the recent
Waterski World Cup Jump title in Dubna, Russia and is in peak form. However,
Lucine and Jaquess will have equal ambitions on the day.
Of all events, the Mens Slalom is probably the most difficult to
predict on this occasion. The level of international talent has never been
higher. Slalom Skiers from USA, Canada, Britain, Italy, Belarus, and Australia could
well present some surprises at the top of the podium. If water conditions are
good enough, there may even be an assault on the World Record.
With two Womens titles opened up, this does not
suggest that the others are a foregone conclusion. The Mens World Trick Record
holder, Nicolas LeForestier (FRA) is NOT the current World Tricks Champion.
Jimmy Siemers (USA) will fight hard to hold on to that title yet again. With a
pending new World Trick Record to his credit, LeForestier is returning with a
vengeance to put this right on the World Championships stage in Tianjin. In Mens
Jump, it could well be the battle of the year between Freddy Krueger (USA) and
Jaret Llewellyn (CAN). Krueger has been almost unbeatable in the past year but
just two weeks ago, Llewellyn took the World Cup Dubna title in Russia and is
certainly in top form. As in Slalom, the standard in this Jump event will be
outstanding. The spectators in China are in for a real treat.
In the Triathlon of Waterskiing, the Overall title, two
Women will make this an epic event. Regina Jaquess (USA) and the World Record
holder, Clementine Lucine (FRA), are really in a league of their own if recent
past events are anything to go by. The Mens event will be a much tougher call.
Watch out for Jimmy Siemers (USA), Jaret Llewellyn (CAN), Javier Julio (ARG) and
Oleg Deviatovski (BLR)
The count down to the Finals in Tianjin, China on Sunday,
21st August is in its last stages. The very best Waterski athletes from over 30
countries are completing their practice routines. The Chinese Waterski
Federation has prepared a magnificent stage. The moment for the new Waterski
World Champions is almost upon us.
For results details and photos, check out www.iwsf.com
and the links provided.