With Chinese National Day celebrations generating an extraordinary US$ 84 Billion in tourism revenues this week, this was a perfect background for the 47th World Cup Stop of the International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF).
The first class Shanghai BiHai Jinsha Water Park was again the venue for this international Cable driven Wakeboard and Jump event which attracted athletes from 29 countries. Many saw this as a prime example of what the event could bring to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games if selected later by the IOC Programme Committee.
Few could have anticipated the performances achieved by the athletes in both Jump and Wakeboard. With a constant headwind for the Jump event, using the Rixen Cable system, the first shock came in the Preliminary Round when Irina Turets (BLR) landed a distance of 51.1m – an new World Cup and site record. Turets is a past World Champion and World Record holder. In the following Men’s Jump event, Nikita Papakul – again from Belarus, landed a distance of 65.6m for another World Cup and site Record. He is also the current World Jump Record holder.
As the Jump Finals approached, that warm northerly head wind was still perfect. The winners scores are calculated by combining the best top scores of each Round. This time, Julia Meier-Gromyko (BLR), the most experienced and most successful of all women in the sport, pushed Irina Turets to the absolute limit. With her lifetime dream of reaching the 50m mark, she got so close with 49.6m. On her first jump, Turets responded with 49.8m to take the title but went on to land 50.6m to prove the point. Slovakia’s Veronika Cseploova took third place with 42.9m. The Men’s Jump event was equally thrilling. Artsiom Marozau (BLR) set the scene with a massive jump of 64.9m. to achieve a combined total 121.6m. Past World Record holder Alexander Vasko (SVK) kept the pressure on with a distance of 60.9m and combined total of 125.6m. As Nikita Papakul left the dock with a huge ovation from the fans, he again stunned all with a distance of 64.9m to give him a gold medal total of 130.5m. This was certainly one of the greatest weeks of all time for Cable Jump.