Celebrating The Formal Opening Of A Fantastic Cable Wakeboard Site Adds A Totally New Dimension To The Sport
While it was misty on Friday and Saturday here at this magnificent Olympic venue in Beijing, it turned to light rain for all the final day of these history making championships. In spite of this, the great atmosphere and smiles continued from start to finish. It was certainly a happy and very well organised competition for the Riders from 19 countries but also one of the most competitive battles ever between the top Cable Riders in the world today. The cash prize pot of this IWWF event of US$50,000 brought an extra edge to the outstanding performances !
Those making it through eventually to the Men's Finals followed a somewhat similar pattern - again with two Aussies and just one each from Hungary, Great Britain, Germany, Korea, Thailand and USA, it was great to see so many Nations represented right to the end.
The Women's Finals were loaded with drama. The highly talented and hot favorite Angelika Schriber AUS just had an unexpected bad day and never really got going in the rainy conditions. Britain's Tor Young had the closest call and missed a Podium place by just one point. Jaimi Oxlade AUS, caught everybody by surprise. At just 15 years of age, she was outstanding. To huge applause she took third place at her first major international event here. That left close friends, the experienced Maxine Sapulette NED and the young talent of Cosima Giemza GER, a past German national Champion. However, nobody could equal Cosima Giemza today and she took this unique title by a clear lead of over five points. As the scores came through from commentator Carlo DelaTorre, Cosima jumped into the Olympic lake to congratulate the silver medalist Maxine Sapulette as she came ashore - a happy ending showing great sportsmanship.
As the Men's Finals took off, many on site seemed to take it for granted that the super-star Rider Dominik Guhrs GER would take the top slot. This must have piled the pressure probably unfairly on him and so again the tension was enormous. The 15 year old Rider Im San from Korea was also tipped for greatness today. Most impressive all week was a totally refreshed Nick Davies GBR who has certainly returned to top form after an injury break of almost a year. Austin Hair USA and Matty Hasler AUS also impressed.
It was the dark horse from Hungary, Szebasztian Szolath, who caused a sensation with an outstanding first run to achieve a score of 76.00. Nick Davies GBR and Matty Hasler were close at this stage with huge scores of 70.00 and 71.67. However, the most consistent Rider in the world today, Dominik Guhrs, absorbed all that pressure like a true champion. He did it once again with 78.33 and could not be caught. This gave the Silver to Szebasztian and Bronze to Nick Davies.
As the Riders made their way to the Shun Yi Olympic Lake Podium, all had a clear sense that history was made today. Congratulations to the Chinese Water Ski Association, Water Sports China, IWWF Asian Confederation and Shun Yi Cable Park on making this possible. At the closing Banquet, Mr Guan Xuewen, Director of Beijing Shun Yi Management Committee of Olympic Venues, stated that he hoped this would be the first of many events here at this outstanding Olympic facility. Every Rider present immediately showed their response with loud applause !
All the scores are available at : www.CableWakeboard.net