Belarus jumpers sizzle at Legtaifiya Lagoon
Teen star Maxime disappoints in wakeboard final as Italy’s Massimiliano Piffaretti wins gold.
The final day of the water skiing competitions at the ANOC World Beach Games saw Belarus athletes dominate the jumps to clinch three medals while the much-awaited contest in wakeboarding did not materialise as teen star Maxime Roux’s campaign ended on a disappointing note.
The Belarus jumpers were a class apart at the Legtaifiya Lagoon, winning a gold, two silver and a bronze. Aliaksandra Danisheuskaya reached 49.5M and Hanna Straltsova touched 49M in impressive performances. Aliaksandra won the gold while Finland’s Jutta Menestrina came up with a 49.3M jump to claim the silver, edging Hanna to the third spot.
“All the girls had really close scores so it was hard, because I didn’t have a big score to beat. You always want more, but today was better. I was much more consistent,” said Aliaksandra.
Belarus missed the gold in the men’s competition as Stepan Shpak finished just behind Vladmir Ryanzin of Russia at 59.2M. Vladimir topped the final with a jump of 59.9M. Emile Ritter of Chile was third with 59.1M.
In the men’s wakeboard, the contest between world No 1 Cory Teunissen of Australia and Maxime of France turned out to be a damp squib. Instead, Massimiliano Piffaretti of Italy stole the show with a flawless display of twists and rolls.
The 15-year-old Maxime, who had topped the preliminary round on Sunday with a fine display, took a tumble into the water as he neared the finish, fumbling during a twist. The Australian too messed up his finish, falling into the water during a flip.
“I really wanted this medal and I was willing to give it my all today,” said Piffaretti. “Maxime was superb yesterday and I knew I had to raise my level if I had to beat him and Cory. That’s what I did today,” said the Italian.
Sanne Meijer of the Netherlands won the women’s wakeboarding final. She tallied a whopping 83.78 points, way ahead of Italy’s Alice Virag (66.45 points) and Jamie Lopina (64.11) of the USA.
“This is what I have been training for in the past two years. I wasn’t satisfied with my performance in the qualifying yesterday, but I stayed positive and it all came together very well,” said Sanne.