GERMANY NETHERLANDS & AUSTRALIA TAKE MEDALS AT BANK OF BEIJING WAKEBOARD WORLD CUP STOP AT SHUNYI OLYMPIC PARK
1. DOMINIK GUHRS GER, 2. FREDERIC VON OSTEN GER, 3. SEBASTIAN DUNN AUS
1. MAXINE SAPULETTE NED, 2. SANNE MEIJER NED, 3. ANGELIKA SCHRIBER AUS
In sweltering 37C/ 99Fh sunshine, Beijing’s 2008 Olympic Shunyi Rowing Lake once again rolled out the famous podium for Wakeboard athletes from nineteen countries around the world. In celebrating it’s 40th Stop of this successful series, the International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) enjoyed one of the most exciting Cable Wakeboard events to date. It was also full of surprises with some major international stars threatened by a few sensational new young Riders. Bruno Rixen, the German 83 year-old original inventor of the Cable system which has revolutionized the sport, even made a demonstration run through the Shunyi Olympic Course for the spectators !
Several hot favorites did not make it to the Finals catching all by surprise. Most notable were Astrid Schabransky AUT, Tatsanai Aye THA, Daniel Fetz AUT and Julian Cohen USA. This opened the door for some exciting rising talents including three teenagers who caused a sensation with their extraordinary performances. Korea’s San Im celebrated his 17th birthday during the event and went on to take 4th place in the Open Men Finals. Australia’s 16 year-old Sebastian Dunn went one better with an outstanding third place World Cup Podium finish on his first World Cup appearance. Seventeen year-old Sanne Maijer NED did better again in the Open Women Finals in taking home a silver medal.
Tokyo World Cup winner Frederik von Osten GER, suffered two serious injuries in recent times. This was his come-back World Cup event. First off the dock, he set the pace with a massive score of 76.67. Almost all then struggled to get close to this. However, the Beijing defending champion, Germany’s Dominik Guhrs, who was second last off the dock, eventually raised the barrier to 85.33 points as all the Finalists entered their last pass. As it turned out, none could outperform him again this time. As Guhrs made this his second win in Beijing, certainly Frederic von Osten is back to full form once again by capturing the silver medal on this occasion. However, the loudest cheer went to the teenager Sebastian Dunn on receiving his bronze and first World Cup medal.
The women’s Finals produced even greater surprises. Germany’s Sophia Reimers, a strong contender, set the pace early on with a great score of 70.00. Angelika Schriber AUS, the Tokyo World Cup champion, caused the first shock. She fell half way through the course and before the last two Rixen Kickers. With one pass yet to come, the pressure was on her. Seventeen year-old Sanne Meijer NED then took the lead with a score of 73.67. Julia Rick GER already captured five trophies this year and was last out but again we were in for a shock. She also fell before the last two Kickers. Now it was all down to the last pass for each Rider. Schriber made a fantastic recovery and posted a score of 71.40 to put her in contention for a Podium place. Sanne Meijer was still the leader with just three Riders to go. Out of the blue, twenty-three year-old Maxine Sapulette NED, who had a conservative event up to this time, put in a performance of a lifetime. She took the silver medal here a year ago. Her score of 74.50 was the best of the day. Neither Julia Rick or Cosima Giemza GER could match that. This gave Maxine Sapulette her first World Cup Gold medal, with the teenager Sanne Meijer winning silver and Angelika Schriber bronze.
IWWF President Kuno Ritschard thanked Mr Han Jianguo, Deputy Director of China Water Sport Administration, for their support and encouragement. The event was organised by the Chinese Water Ski Association and sanctioned by IWWF Asia. This return of the World Cup to the Shunyi Olympic Park venue was an outstanding success. Most encouraging of all was the highly impressive arrival of some very young talented Wakeboard Riders.
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