With 53 of the highest ranked Waterski and Wakeboard athletes in the world arriving in Liuzhou in Central-Southwest China from 17 countries to help celebrate the Nation’s 60th Anniversary Celebrations, media interest has been intensive from the moment they arrived. To date, the International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) has completed 27 World Cup Stops with two more yet to come in 2009. Large numbers of spectators are expected to attend this 28th Stop of the Waterski & Wakeboard World Cup Series. It will be staged on the City’s very attractive downtown winding Liu River with its impressive skyline creating a perfect backdrop.
Water Sports Administration of China, Chinese Waterski Association, Liuzhou Sports Council and the IWWF, have all successfully worked in partnership with Liuzhou Municipal Government to bring the World Cup series to this region. The chief sponsor will be leading vehicle manufacturers SGMW. This is a joint venture between SAIC Motor Corporation Ltd., Liuzhou Wuling Motors Co. Ltd and GM China. MasterCraft will again be the official Boat sponsor, having filled this position for the past 27 World Cup Stops.
On this occasion, the Liuzhou Waterski & Wakeboard World Cup Stop will feature Wakeboard and Waterski Jump. The response from the world’s highest ranked athletes has been at an all-time high. The result is that virtually all of the top performing Riders and Jumpers are present. This will ensure a very high standard throughout. There is also a long waiting list of those who are in the qualification queue.
In Wakeboard the hot favorites are likely to be Phillip Soven USA, Andrew Adkison USA, Nick Davies GBR, Dallas Friday USA, Raimi Merritt USA, and Chen LiLi CHN.
Twenty-year old Phillip Soven, two-time world champion, has been a Pro Rider since 11 years of age. He often appears unbeatable. He took the gold medal at the Singapore World Cup Stop last season and was awarded the 2008 World Cup Overall Wakeboard title. Andrew Adkison, 2009 World Games gold medalist, two-time World Wakeboard Champion, past Rookie-of-the-Year, was last season’s winner of the silver medal at the Palm Hills World Cup Stop in Egypt plus the bronze medal winner at both the 2008 Singapore and Doha, Qatar, World Cup Stops. Nick Davies took the silver medal at the Singapore World Cup Stop in 2008 and the gold medal at the 2008 Palm Hills World Cup Stop in Egypt.
Dallas Friday, a past gymnast, like Phillip Soven, often appears unbeatable. She has claimed five national USA titles, four X Games gold medals and three World Championships titles. She took the World Cup gold medal in Singapore and silver in Doha, Qatar in 2008. She was awarded the 2008 World Cup Wakeboard Overall title and just recently took the World Games Wakeboard title.
Raimi Merritt, at just 16 years of age, has caught many by surprise. A past Rookie-of-the-Year, she took the World Cup title at the Palm Hills World Cup Stop in Egypt and also in Doha, Qatar last season, plus the bronze in Singapore. She recently added the World Games silver medal to her collection. Chen LiLi, China’s most successful international Rider, is the 2008 Asia AustralAsia Champion and took the bronze medal at the recent IWWF Wakeboard World Championships. She is also a past Singapore World Cup Stop Champion
In Waterski Jump the hot favorites are likely to be Freddy Krueger USA, Jaret Llewellyn CAN, Ryan Dodd CAN, Natalia Berdnikova BLR, June Fladborg DEN and Clementine Lucine FRA.
Freddy Krueger is an extraordinary athlete by any standards. As World Jump Champion and three time World Record holder, he has held the top rank position in the past five IWWF Ranking tables. His achievements include US Masters Champion and World Cup Series Champion and is regarded by many as the greatest Waterski jumper of all time. Jaret Llewellyn is another Waterski phenomenon. With 11 World Records to his credit and 104 professional wins, he is a 9 time US Masters Champion, 20 time Moomba Masters Champion and 21 time PanAmerican Champion. Ryan Dodd is a past Junior Masters Rolex Jump Champion, Junior US Open Jump Champion, Canadian National Jump Champion – and burst in to the headlines this season when he took the Dubna Russia World Cup Jump title plus the IWWF World Championships silver medal. Natalia Berdnikova, the Belarus Jump record holder, is a past US Masters Jump Champion and took the 2008 Dubna Russia World Cup Jump title. The Scandinavian Jump record holder, June Fladborg, has been at the top of Jumping in Europe since her EAME title in 2003. She has also taken Moomba Masters, US Masters and World Cup Jump titles and recently took the silver medal at the IWWF World Championships. Clementine Lucine, the 2006, 2007 and 2008 IWWF Athlete of the Year, is one of the Worlds greatest Overall skiers. She has dominated in Tricks and Overall as far back as 2002 at Junior level. She is World Shortboard Record holder and almost always takes a podium place.
For the Liuzhou, China, audience, it would not have been possible to attract a higher caliber of athlete. As this is the start of an important five-year relationship between the IWWF and the Liuzhou Municipal Government, the President of the International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation, Kuno Ritschard, stated that this excellent World Cup location will help to greatly encourage and support the ambitious watersports development plans of the City and should also create a greater world-wide awareness of the wonderful attractions in this Central-Southwest region of China.
The World Cup Timetable is as follows :
October 1 – Thursday
20.00hrs – International Aquatic Carnival Opening Ceremony
October 2 – Friday
09.00hrs - Wakeboard Women Semi-Finals
10.30hrs – Wakeboard Men Quarter-Finals
14.30hrs – Jump Women Semi-Finals
16.10hrs – Jump Men Semi-Finals
18.00hrs – World Cup Press Conference
October 3 – Saturday
10.30hrs – Wakeboard Men Semi-Finals
13.30hrs – Official World Cup Opening Ceremony
14.05hrs – World Cup Wakeboard Women Finals
15.00hrs – World Cup Wakeboard Men Finals
15.53hrs – World Cup Jump Women Finals
16.05hrs – World Cup Jump Men Finals
17.10hrs – World Cup Award Ceremony
17.50hrs – World Cup Press Conference