Practice day today began early as the World Cup stars arrived at Beijing’s Foban Emin Water Ski Club for the next stage of this US$780,000 World Cup season challenge. This exclusive Club is one of the most impressive on the global circuit, incorporating a gymnasium, athlete accommodation, dining, computer and extensive entertaining and conference facilities along the tiered and landscaped lake shoreline.
IOC President Jacques Rogge sent a special message to Kuno Ritschard, President of the International Water Ski Federation, wishing all the participants good luck and an enjoyable stay in this city of the XXX1X Olympiad.  Central China TV will broadcast the two hour World Cup Opening Ceremony live on Friday evening from 18.00-20.00hrs. A special Show Ski and music entertainment programme will be featured. Beijing TV will provide nine hours of live cover of the competition on Saturday and Sunday. The weekend guest list includes many of China’s most important and influential business and Government leaders. In view of the approaching Beijing Olympics, there is a palpable air of excitement at this World Cup site !
First to arrive for Practice today were the Shortboarders Jimmy Siemers (USA) and Richard Abelson (CAN). They were the last two on the water at the recent World Cup Stop in Qatar where Siemers actually took that title. Today, Siemers performed a rarely seen perfect Mobius 720 degree trick as he rehearsed his Shortboard routine for the competition which starts at 09.30 on Saturday morning. Shortboard World Record holder Mandy Nightingale (USA) also displayed an impressive routine in her bid to become the World Cup Shortboard series leader this year.
Wakeboarders Phillip Soven (USA) and Meaghan Major (USA) dominated last weekend’s World Cup Stop in Enghiens-les-Bain / Paris and were also some of the first on site in Beijing today. Soven is still suffering from a fractured wrist and a chest cold and was heavily bandaged during his Practice session. However, this did not hamper his success in France and he is bound to be a strong contender to take the World Cup series lead position from Danny Harf (USA).
Temperatures of 32C and light breezes are forecast for the weekend.

Useful Web Sites :

IWSF : http://www.iwsf.com/
WORLD CUP : www.iwsftournament.com/wordpress
MasterCraft : http://www.mastercraft.com/

CONTACT : Des Burke-Kennedy, Media Chairman, International Waterski Federation

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