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11 September 2016 | in FISU World University Championships, Waterski & Wakeboard

4th WUC Waterski - Overview Day 3: Slalom & Tricks



AKITA – Saturday’s Programme at the FISU World University Waterski Championships included the last Preliminary Round of Men’s Tricks plus the Finals of Slalom for both Men and Women and also the Finals of Women’s Tricks.  In glorious sunshine, Lake Hachiro delivered really great competition conditions and this created a fantastic atmosphere amongst the athletes and fans.

The Men’s Tricks Preliminary Round was as expected by many. The two super-stars, Josh Briant (AUS) and Martin Kolman (CZH), delivered scores which put them in a league of their own. Sunday’s Finals are more than likely to be a battle between them for Silver and Gold, with the other 10 competitors chasing the Bronze medal!

Women's Slalom Medal Podium

The first of the Championships Finals was Women’s Slalom. Although she did not expect it, the first athlete, Jenna Morgan (USA), immediately set the scene with a score of 3 buoys on the short 12 metre rope length. To the surprise of many, it was not until six skiers later that this score was equaled! Dentistry student Camille Poulain-Ferarios (FRA) was ninth off the dock and she immediately dominated with a score of 5 buoys on this same 12 metre rope length. In fact, it was not till the final skier, Ambre Franc (FRA), arrived that this was beaten with a great score of 1 buoy on the shorter 11.25 metre rope. Paris based Nutrition student Amber Franc is one of the strongest female Slalom skiers in the world today. Her superb gold medal performance here was not a surprise but was a joy to watch. Camille Poulain-Ferarios took the silver medal, and following a run-off, the bronze medal went to Anna Cespivova (CZE).

Men's Slalom Medal Podium

Next came the Men’s Slalom Final. This had a fantastic conclusion which was the highlight of the day. Earlier on, Thomas Poole (GBR), took the lead with a score of 2.25 buoys on the 11.25m rope. This was a major boost to his confidence as his earlier Tricks performance was a disaster! Nobody improved much on this till the ninth skier, Martin Kolman (CZE), arrived. Kolman is a hot favorite to take the Overall title this week. He took the Europe & Africa Overall title in 2014. His score today of 5 buoys on the 11.25 metre rope was a further boost to this ambition. Finally, Dane Mechler (USA) and Robert Pigozzi (DOM) pushed all aside and both tied with an enormous score of 2.5 buoys on the 10.75m rope. A thrilling run-off finally gave the gold medal to Mechler and silver to Pigozzi, leaving the bronze to Martin Kolman.

Women's Tricks Medal PodiumThe day finished in hot sunshine with fans on both sides of the lake enjoying the Women’s Tricks Finals. In spite of many great performances, none of the first seven skiers succeeded in breaking the 4,000 points mark. It was Janice Stevens (CAN) who broke the log-jam with a solid score of 4,460. This looked like a medal winner till Carolina Chapoy (MEX) totally dominated with her flips display to score 5,070. Now there were just two skiers remaining – Camille Poulain-Ferarios (FRA) and the Under-21 Overall World Champion Giannina Bonneman (GER).  Poulain-Ferarios had already taken the Slalom Silver medal. Bonnemann may also take the Overall title here. As it turned out, Poulain-Ferrarios pushed the lead score to 5,870 points and that was the challenge awaiting Bonnemann, the final competitor. She scored 8,800 in the Prelims and was in a league of her own then. In these Finals, she was also in a league of her own. Her gold medal score of 7,500 points was almost 1,700 ahead of silver medalist Camille Poulain-Ferrarios. Bronze went to Carolina Chapoy.

By any standards, this was a very exciting University Championships yesterday. As often happens, the best of the best rose to the top yet again! 


(Source: WUC Waterski OC/IWWF)



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