Germans glide, soar to fame in wakeboarding

By Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star)

Posted at Nov 12 2012 11:12 AM | Updated as of Nov 12 2012 07:12 PM

ANGELES CITY, Philippines  – Germany’s Frédéric von Osten proved he had enough legs and will power to survive a heavy tumble by the favorites in the last day of the World Cable Wakeboard Championships at the Deca Wake Park Clark here.

Von Osten, the winner of the Tokyo World Cup prior to the tourney, made up for a sloppy 20.67-performance in the Run 1 with a massive 80.33 effort in Run 2 to rule the roost in the men’s competitions, rising to the throne previously occupied by mishap-struck Nick Davies of Britain.

“It was unbelievable. I crashed in the first run so I was kind of confused if I’m going to do the second run like the first run. But I made the decision to start with Switch mobe and made a good (second) run. I’m really, really happy I got the title,” said von Osten.

The 19-year-old von Osten found himself near the bottom of the field – at seventh – after Run 1. But instead of feeling down and out, the pride of Hamburg used it as inspiration to bounce back in Run 2, where he maneuvered a set of wicked tricks for scorelines of 82.00-80.00-79.00.

He overtook erstwhile leader Declan Clifford of Britain. Clifford failed to make a successful Run 2 to settle for the second-best score of 74.67 while 15-year-old Korean Im San’s first run score (FRS) of 70.00 gave him the honor of being the first-ever Asian rider to land in the medal podium of the worlds.

Fancied riders like Davies, the 2010 champion, and top finalist Dominik Gührs, also of Germany, saw their bid crumble after a spate of mishaps in their respective runs. Davies wound up eighth and last with 29.33 while Gührs fell short of a Top 3 finish with fourth-best 67.33.

Earlier, Von Osten’s compatriot Sophia Marie Reimers dethroned 2010 Open ladies wakeboard champion Kirsteen Mitchell of Britain to put a punctuation to Germany’s domination of the event backed by Rixen Cableways, IWWF Wakeboard 2020 Vision, Smart, Gatorade, Deca Homes, Stoked Inc, RipCurl, Monster Energy Drink, Devant LED TV, Bacardi, Department of Tourism Region 3, Aktion Parks, Plus Event Marketing and organized by Eventking Corp.

Reimers impressed the judges in Run 2 with neat execution of tricks and earned 67.33, enough to pull ahead of Mitchell, who settled for 62.33. Mitchell went for broke in her last run, attempting a massive S bend to blind but went down upon landing, dooming her back-to-back title bid.

“In the second run, I went for switch mobe as I felt it was the trick I needed. I’m happy I did it. It’s amazing. I’m super stoked,” said Reimers.

Fellow German Cosima Giemza’s FRS took the bronze medal with her FRS of 56.67, sealing Germany’s top standing in the overall team competition.

The powerhouse Germans amassed 8,700 points throughout the six-day tournament hosted for the first time in Phl for the team gold, beating Great Britain (8,049 points) and France (6,807) was third.

The winners received their medals from International Waterski and Wakeboard Association president Kuno Ritschard, Wakeboard and Waterski Association of the Philippines president JV Borromeo, International Olympic Committee program committee executive board member Sam Ramsany, and Philippine Olympic Committee secretary general Steve Hontiveros.

On Saturday, Susan Larsson gave host Philippines its lone medal, a silver in the Open ladies wakeskate event. Larsson recovered from a 20-point stint in the first run with a 45.00 in the second to take runner-up honors to champ Zuzana Vrablova of Slovakia (62.00). Julie Panzini of France took third place with 35.00.

Jan Kissmann of Germany ruled the Open men wakeskate play with 70.67, besting Ollie Moore of Great Britain (66.00) and Mayce Dipple of Austria (61.67) for the plum.

Osten and Reimers thus capped Germany’s domination of the event as Julie Rick nipped British rival Chloe Goudie in a thrilling finale to capture the junior ladies wakeboard plum and Miles Toller led Germany’s 1-2-3 finish in the junior men wakeboard play, beating Christoper Klein and Andre Botta.