2011 Nautique IWWF Asian Waterski & Wakeboard Championships -Day 5

Thursday, October 13, 2011
Posted by Chris

It was a bright but still overcast morning as the skiers converged on the Kelab Tasik (Lake Club), Putrajaya, Malaysia, for the final day of competition in the 2011 Nautique IWWF Asian Waterski & Wakeboard Championships. It was not long however before the sun broke through adding a sparkle to the shimmering waters beneath the Prime Minister’s Office and the Putra Mosque.

Pulled by the Nautique 200 provided by the titled sponsors the women slalom skiers were the first off in the finals.  Sasha Christian (SIN), who was also competing in wakeboard kicked off with five buoys at 52kph. Kamaya Harue (JPN) upped the ante with four buoys at 55kph before Saaya Hirosawa (JPN) was the first to make it on to a 16m short line scoring four buoys. It was all down to the last skier Phillipa Yoong to win honours for Malaysia, which she did in style, scoring six buoys on the 16m line followed by two on the next shortening at 14.25m.

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Despite the almost perfect conditions the men appeared to have trouble on the slalom course with the first four skiers unable to improve on their first round results. Caleb Knight (HKG), given a rerun for rollers on the course, completed his 58kph pass but fell at the start on a 16m line. It was the same for the remaining skiers who struggled to improve on their earlier scores.  See Hyung Kim with two buoys at 13m put pressure on the final slalom skier Salvador Chiha (LIB) who looked comfortable completing his 14.25m pass. Unfortunately he clipped the second buoy at 13m and, despite a remarkable recovery to avoid a fall, was ruled not to have rounded the buoy, conceding his title and the gold medal to Kim.

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In Ladies Tricks only 8-year old Aaliyah Yoong Hannifah  (MAS) was able to improve on her preliminary round  score with 3180 points, good enough for bronze with Song Yu Fei (CHN), inspite of a fall, taking gold with 4040 with Saaya Hirosawa second.


Second off the dock in Men’s Tricks Jimin Jeong set the standard with a score of 3400. Andri Muhamad Febiandi (MAS) raised the bar to 3640 but was topped by Bumgeun Cho (KOR) with 3700. Both Muhammad Zahidi Putu (INA) and Sunjiro Hagama (JPN) fell short leaving Shi Long Fei with 4160 to take gold for China.         img_2741-1.jpg


The much anticipated wakeboard finals followed starting with the women, pulled by the impressive Super Air Nautique 210. Sasha Christian (SIN) put in a good run with a huge ‘Tantrum’ only to go down on her return pass. Her score of 48.11 was still good enough for bronze. Miku Asai (JPN) scored 61.23 with a controlled performance to put pressure on reigning Asian champion Chen Li-li (CHN). The pressure told and with one fall her score of 55.23 relegated her to second place with Asai crowned the new Asian champion.                    img_2641-1.jpg


It was a thrilling men’s wakeboard finals with Asia’s best riders facing off. Bunyalo Jumruang (THA) had deservedly made it through to the finals via the LCQ but a fall on his first pass on an ‘Off-axis toeside 7’ left him with a score of 68.35. Insang Jung ’s (KOR) ‘Whirlybird 540’ helped him to a score of 78.46. Shota Tezuka (JPN) continued his domination of the event with two huge clear passes before landing a massive 2.5 rotations for a ‘Heelside 9’ on his double-up giving him a score of 90.34 for the final two riders to beat. Matthew Christian (SIN) missed his handle and missed out on the double-up to finish with 59.35. Last off the dock was Padiwat Jaemjan(THA), who is not called ‘Bom’ for nothing, as a he explodes off the wake. He put in some high end tricks but fell on his first pass and again on his ‘Toeside 7’ double-up to finish in second place with 83.46.  img_2732-1.jpg                                                               img_2781-1.jpg

It was again the turn of the tournament skiers with jumping concluding the event. Endhar Pupul Giritiya  (INA) was unable to match her preliminary round result  and slipped to third place with 29.9m. Harue Kamiya improved on her score with 38.2m to clinch silver. Last to jump Saaya Hirosawa’s (JPN) was just 0.1m short of her Asian Championship record-breaking preliminary jump of 42m, but good enough for gold.  img_2759-1.jpg                                 img_2817-1.jpg

Former F1 motor racing driver Alex Yoong (MAS) returned to his sporting roots but after a long lay-off could only manage ninth place with a jump of 32.9m. Muhammad Zahidi Putu forced the pace adding a further 8.5m to his first round jump to finish with 46.3m. The next four jumpers failed to improve on this result assuring him of the bronze medal.    img_2796-1.jpg                        img_2821.jpg        

‘Jumping Jimmy’ Jimin Jeong (KOR) improved on his earlier jump with 52.3m before Sunjiro Hagama concluded with 47.0m to take silver for Japan.

The closing party at the Kelab Tasik (Lake Club) hosted by Y.Bhg. Tan Sri Samsudin bin Osman, President Putrajaya Corporation, included the final overall and team awards. The U17 boys’ awards went to Widodo Safaraldi with Shamal Abd. Rahman second. The U17 team awards went to Indonesia with Malaysia second and Singapore third. In Women’s overall Saaya Hirosawa took gold from her two Japanese team mates, whilst in Men’s overall Sunjiro Hagama took gold for Japan ahead of two Koreans.  img_2842.jpg                              img_2849-1.jpg

 The championships closed with the presentation by Max Kirwan, IWWF AAO President Emeritus, of the Max Kirwan Asian Waterski and Wakeboard Championship Shields on which Japan will be the first name engraved on both shields. In wakeboard team results Korea finished second and China third, while in the waterski team results Korea again finished second with Indonesia third. 

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