23Jul09 The World Games 2009 in Kaohsiung Taiwan continue with some surprises.

Manon Costard FRA in action on Lotus Pond in Women's Slalom

Lotus Pond looked at its best as World Games Women?s Tournament Slalom competitors lined up at the dock for the start of the competition at the 0800hrs. The World Cup star, Marie Vympranietsova (GRE), set the standard of 5/55/13.00m. Barbora Kolesarova (SVK) upped the level with one buoy on the shorter 12m line. Manon Costard (FRA) lifted it further with 2.5 buoys on that rope length. Caroline Hensley (USA) responded with three buoys leaving the last two skiers to challenge for the slalom first place overall points. Kate Adriaensen BEL went next raising the bar to 5@12m. Last off the dock was New Zealander Megan Ross (NZ) but she just managed 0.5 buoy on the 12m line. Kate Adriaensen was therefore awarded the 1000 points for Tournament Slalom.

The Barefoot Women Slalom Skiers followed with some good scores. Emily Goldie (GBR) scored 11 points to set a high standard, which only Elaine Heller (USA) was able to top with 12.6. World Women?s Champion Ashleigh Stebbings (AUS) fell short after a fall but still finished with 10.6 to make it through to the World Games Barefoot Finals.

There were more ripples on the water when the Barefoot Men Slalom event took to the waters. With huge support from spectators for local Chinese Taipei Barefooter Chang Kuang-yu, he kicked off their competition before fifth off the dock Keith St Onge (USA) threw down the gauntlet with 18.8. Unfortunately, with five of the fifteen Barefooters still to compete, a technical equipment problem resulted in a postponement of their runs until repairs had been completed. At the end of the day therefore as the sun?s last rays bathed Kaohsiung?s Lotus Pond in golden light the five last contenders took to the water again in water conditions similar to those that went earlier. Three of this group made it through to the Barefoot Finals which will now comprise eight from seven competing nations.

Meanwhile, the programme continued with thirty Wakeboard Riders from around the globe comprising ten women and twenty men taking to the water in six heats. Chen Li-li (CHN) scored 69 to advance to the women?s finals with Raimi Merritt (USA) from the first of two heats. Miku Asai (JPN) and Dallas Friday (USA) qualified from the second heat. The remaining six still have a last chance to qualify. Much to the delight of many of the spectators lining Lotus Pond, several of the Asian riders excelled in their heats. Kim Yong- Il, and Park Sung ?Jun both of Korea made it through to the Semi-Finals with Hong Kong?s Ronnie Chung and China?s Zhang Wei. Kyle Rattray, (CAN), Nick Davies (GBR), Quentin Delefortrie (BEL) and Andrew Adkison (USA) also got through.

Next came Tournament Preliminary Tricks. Fifth off the dock Alejandro Lamadrid (MEX) set the benchmark with an impressive score of 6690 points to be bettered by Martin Bartalsky (SVK) 7040 and last skier Rodrigo Miranda 7880 (CHI).

There were mixed results and disappointments in the Women?s Preliminary Tournament Tricks round which saw Kate Adriaensen (BEL) take third with 6060, Manon Costard second with 6390 points and Caroline Hensley (USA) in the top spot with 6440.

The World Games Competition continues at Lotus Pond tomorrow Thursday 23rd July until Saturday.