Loss Of Sheers And Rogers Opens Up Titles At 2005 Vanke Waterski World Championships
LOSS OF SHEERS AND ROGERS OPENS UP TITLES AT 2005 VANKE WATERSKI WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
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 following.
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.
The past co-holder of the Mens World Slalom Record and current World Slalom Champion, Jeff Rogers (USA), is not in the six member elite USA team this year. Of all events, the Mens Slalom is therefore probably the most difficult to predict on this occasion. The level of international talent has never been higher. Slalom Skiers from 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 and one Mens title 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 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.