The stage is set and fully prepared in Dnipro Ukraine for the arrival of 88 athletes from 23 countries who will compete in Slalom, Tricks and Jump. The World U21 Waterski Championships of the International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) is where the Open stars of the future will prove themselves on July 13/16. This year, the current rising standards will certainly create some sensations based on recent outstanding performances.
The Sentosa Waterski Club river site is a well proven one having hosted National Waterski Championships, Europe Africa Youth Championships and many Cash Prize events. The IWWF World U21 Waterski Championships will be exclusively towed by the world-record breaking Ski Nautique 200 Closed Bow boat.
The twenty three countries represented in Dnipro will include Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, France, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, USA – and of course the home country Ukraine.
With so many outstanding young male and female IWWF competitors at this time, highlighting possible gold medallists in all three events is quite a challenge. In Slalom, watch out for Sweden’s Jacob Bogne, Canada’s Cole McCormick and Dorien Llewellyn, and Robert Pigozzi of the Dominican Republic. Bogne holds Sweden’s National Slalom Record, McCormick was the 2016 PanAm Slalom Champion. Pigozzi was Junior World Champion and World Record holder. All are capable of scoring on the very short 10.25m line.
In Tricks, given the exceptional talent of the particular athletes involved, all eyes are likely be on the Women. Watch out for fantastic performances from Anna Gay (USA) and Neilly Ross (CAN). In the Open IWWF Rankings, they occupy the top two places – extraordinary for U21 athletes. Gay also has a pending World Tricks Record of 10,880 points under consideration! Ross scored 10,350 to take the Nautique Masters title in the USA just some weeks ago. Will we see a new World Record? Also, Gianmarco Pajni (ITA) and Patricio Font (MEX) will keep the spotlight on the Men and will certainly break the 10,000 points barrier. Watch out for Dorien Llewellyn again in this event, the 2016 PanAm Championships gold medallist. The future certainly looks bright for such young talent.
Finally, in Jump, British athlete Jack Critchley, Australia’s Josh Wallent, Sweden’s Felix Blomquist and Canada’s Dorien Llewellyn, can all break that 60 meter distance. That will pose a thrilling Podium challenge. On the Women’s side, this could be a big one for the talented Aliaksandra Danisheuskaya (BLR). IWWF