09Aug09 A Perfect Sunny Day At Calgary World Championships Produces Top Quality Finals In Slalom ? Tricks - Jump
Packed Bleachers at the World Championships
We have now confirmed three World Champions here in Calgary ? and so far only one retained their 2007 Linz, Austria title. With perfect sunny weather, spectators crowding all the Bleachers, Rock Concert, busy Tented Village, Climbing Wall, Food Stalls, Beer Garden, Jumbotron Screens and 40 nations represented on the water, we have reached the final two days of a testing and thrilling week.
The Nautique 200 arrives in Calgary
The day began with the much anticipated official launch of the all new Ski Nautique 200 boat. This revolutionary three event Tournament Ski boat was driven in to the World Championships arena this morning by Andy Mapple, past Slalom World Record holder with 166 Pro wins to his credit over a period of 20 years. With more interior room, unparalleled soft flat wake, spray diffusers, greatly improved driver vision from the more compact instrument housing design and enough storage space for six Slalom skis, this is a very impressive creation. Nautique are also the official boat suppliers of this 2009 World Waterski Championships here in Calgary.
World Tricks Champion Whitney McClintock celebrates
The Ladies Tricks Finals produced six scores in excess of 8000 points. None reached this point in the Preliminaries. Of all 12 Finalists, 10 scored improvements over the previous round. The standard of all made this a very special Finals and it was full of surprises and heartbreak ! Ageliki Andriopoulou GRE and Tatiana Churakova RUS were the only two not to gain improvements over their earlier scores. The 2005 World Champion Mandy Nightingale USA scored 7920 points ? well below her Personal Best of 8740 points. The most disappointed of all was the hot Overall Title contender and World Tricks Record holder Clementine Lucine FRA who scored 8040 points but really wanted to get closer to her Personal Best of 8840. The rest was all good news. The 16 year old World Junior Tricks Champion Iris Cambray FRA wowed the crowds with a score of 8400 points ? to move ahead of Maria Camilla Linares COL at 8290 points. Eventually it was all down to Canada?s 19 year old star, Whitney McClintock. The cheers and flags gave her a rousing start. Both her Toe and Hand passes were flawless. At 8740 points, this was almost a World Record performance ? and the performance of her life. What perfect timing for the huge home crowd. Whitney McClintock of Cambridge, Ontario, Canada is our new World Tricks Champion.
New World Slalom Champion Will Asher GBR
By the time the Men?s Slalom Finals arrived, the site was hopping. The featured band on the large stage out on the water switched off and the best Slalom Skiers in the world today prepared for the challenge ahead. Jean Baptiste Faisy FRA was first off ? having taken that last Finals place in an eight man run-off yesterday. He knew that his 5 buoys on the 11.25m line today would not be enough to gain a podium position. In fact, only he and Fabio Ianni ITA failed to run the 11.25m pass. Eight Finalists scored on the short 10.75m line and two went further on the very short 10.25m line. The standard was high throughout. As we got all the way to the closing stages in glorious sunshine and calm water, reigning World Slalom Champion Thomas Degasperi ITA set the very high target at 1 buoy on the 10.25m line. The 2005 World Champion, 27 year old Will Asher GBR, then entered the arena and to a roar from the suntanned crowd, put in a flawless performance with a score of 3 buoys on this same 10.25m line.
Chris Parrish USA?
|?? Now it was all up to Chris Parrish USA, World Slalom Record holder. He must have known that he could now take this title. However, as the crowd gasped, he went down with 4 buoys on the longer 10.75m line. The popular 2005 World Slalom Champion, Will Asher GBR, had regained his title here at Calgary ! |
Ageliki Andriopoulou GRE retains her World Champion title
The day finished up with Womens Jump. Marie Vympranietsova GRE carried an ice pack on her right knee all day in the hope that her recovery from yesterday?s crash would be complete in time. As the start approached, she decided to go for it. As in the other events today, almost all the results showed huge improvements over the Preliminary scores. There were surprises. Regina Jaquess USA, co-holder of the World Slalom record, got to 50.7m but she knew that would not be enough to take this title or to boost her Overall points situation. On the other hand, Maj Jepsen DEN had a very impressive day with a distance of 51.0m ? certainly a rising star. However, many expected this Final to eventually be a battle between June Fladborg DEN and the reigning World Jump Champion, Ageliki Andriopoulou GRE. That is how it turned out. Unfortunately, in spite of some painful attempts, Marie Vympranietsova was forced to quit with that painful knee injury. June Fladborg laid down the marker in the last duel of the day with a distance of 51.1m and this could have given her the title, one of the very few she has not yet taken. Ageliki Andriopoulou also has an ongoing knee injury and nursed it from day to day over the week. In spite of this, the reigning World Champion still pulled out all the stops to land the jump of the day with a distance of 53.7m. As the warm sun set over the Predator Bay Club site here in Calgary, a very happy Ageliki Andriopoulou GRE retained her title of World Jump Champion.
June Fladborg challenges for the Jump title
Ticking away in the background are the Overall battles and also the Team scores. Canada?s Whitney McClintock is 160 points ahead of Clementine Lucine FRA in the Ladies Overall contest. The Men?s battle is much closer with Adam Sedlmajer CZE just 49 points ahead of Canada?s Jaret Llewellyn. It seems that this one is being monitored by the entire population of Canada !
On the Team scores, Canada is 630 points ahead of the USA with France in third place. It could well be a vintage year on home turf for Canada.
Tomorrow will be decision day for the Mens Trick and Jump titles, plus the Ladies Slalom title.
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