Beijing Successfully Hosts World's First Cable Wakeboard Event

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Since the short-listing of Cable Wakeboard last year by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for consideration for inclusion in the 2020 Games, global interest in this rapidly expanding sport continues to soar. Demand for the low cost electrically powered equipment involved has never been higher – driven in part by the relatively attractive return-on-investment potential offered.

The Beijing Olympic Rowing Lake created history this weekend by opening a full Rixen Wakeboard system at the magnificent Olympic Games Shun Yi venue. Wakeboard Riders from 19 countries were invited to take part through the International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) in a competition to mark this special occasion. A cash prize pot of US$50,000 brought an extra edge to the outstanding performances which resulted over the weekend.


Sunday kicked off at 10.00hrs and included the Pro Women LCQ, followed by the Pro Men Semi-Finals. Chief Judge Argy Daskalopoulos SIN then started the Finals at 13.00hrs. Bruno Rixen GER, the actual inventor of Cable Wakeboard was present to see his life-time dream come true !


The Women's preliminary event saw eight Riders make it through to the Finals from Thailand, Germany, Netherlands, Australia, Great Britain and Austria. With three Australians included, and just one from each of the other countries, it was hats off to the Aussies for their outstanding efforts at this point giving them high hopes for some history making medals later on!


Those making it through to the Men's Finals followed a somewhat similar pattern - again with two Aussies and just one each from Hungary, Great Britain, Germany, Korea, Thailand and USA. The mix of nations added greatly to the international festive atmosphere.


The Women's Finals were loaded with drama. The highly talented and hot favorite Angelika Schriber AUS had an unexpected bad day and never really got going in the rainy conditions. Britain's Tor Young had the closest call and missed a Podium place by just one point. Jaimi Oxlade AUS, caught everybody by surprise. At just 15 years of age, she was outstanding. To huge applause she took third place at her first major international event here. That left close friends, the experienced Maxine Sapulette NED and the young talent of Cosima Giemza GER, a past German National Junior Champion. However, nobody could equal Cosima Giemza and she took this unique title by a clear lead of over five points. As the scores came through from commentator Carlo DelaTorre, Cosima Giemza jumped into the Olympic Lake to congratulate the silver medalist Maxine Sapulette as she came ashore - a happy ending showing great sportsmanship.


As the Men's Finals began, many on site appeared to take it for granted that the super-star Rider Dominik Guhrs GER would take the gold medal. This surely piled the pressure, probably unfairly, on Guhrs and so again the tension was enormous. The 15 year-old Rider Im San from Korea was also tipped for greatness today, based on his extraordinary current outstanding track record. Most impressive all week was a totally refreshed Nick Davies GBR who has certainly returned to top form after an injury break of almost a year. Austin Hair USA and Matty Hasler AUS also impressed.


The dark horse from Hungary, Szebasztian Szolath, caused a sensation with an outstanding first run to achieve a score of 76.00. Nick Davies GBR and Matty Hasler AUS were close at this stage with huge scores of 70.00 and 71.67. However, the most consistent Rider in the world today, Dominik Guhrs, absorbed all that pressure like a true champion. He captured gold once again with 78.33 and could not be caught. This gave the Silver to Szebasztian Szolath HUN and Bronze to Nick Davies GBR.


As the Riders made their way to the Shun Yi Olympic Lake Podium, all had a clear sense that history was truly made today. The distinguished guests present to mark the special occasion at this Olympic Lake included :


Mr Liu Jimmin, Deputy President, Beijing Olympic Urban Development Committee
Mr Wang Du, Director, China Watersports Administration
Mr Zhang Qing, Former Director of China Watersports Administration
Mr Yuan Zhen Zhou, Deputy Director of Beijing Sports Bureau
Miss Yan Ying, Deputy Director, Shunyi Zone of Beijing
Mr Deng Lian Cheng, Deputy General Manager, Yanjing Beer Group Corporation
Mr Xu Sihai, Secretary General, Chinese Water Ski Association


Kuno Ritschard, IWWF President, congratulated the Chinese Water Ski Association, Water Sports China, IWWF Asian Confederation, Shun Yi Cable Park and Yanjing Beer Group, on making this historical event possible. At the closing Banquet, Mr Guan Xuewen, Director of Beijing Shun Yi Management Committee of Olympic Venues, stated that he hopes this will be the first of many such events here in the future at this outstanding Olympic Games Shun Yi Rowing Lake facility.


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