KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 (Bernama) -- Asian skiers will have more reason to look forward at the 2019 Waterski World Championship as the International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) has approved a parallel ‘Best Asian Skier’ category to run alongside the main world meet event which began today at the Putrajaya Lake.
It is a significant move aimed at giving recognition to the passion and dedication of Asian skiers as well as giving the sport a push towards development in the region.
With waterski in Asia traditionally still lagging behind its American and European counterparts, it was highly unlikely for the Asian skiers participating in the world meet to make it through to the finals from the preliminaries.
“The Malaysian Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (MWWF) is very heartened that this year’s has attracted a total of 143 entries from 32 countries.
"But above all, we are also very excited to see a record 24 Asian skiers in the world meet battling it out for the best Asian awards,” said MWWF head coach Hanifah Yoong.
Seven Asian countries are participating in the 2019 IWWF Waterski World Championships including China, Indonesia, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.
Malaysian sweetheart, Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah who is currently ranked 12th in the IWWF world ranking in tricks, was the only Asian that was placed in the top 12 in the preliminaries to make the final.
But it is still a tall order for the 16-year-old who is going up against some of the best in the world namely Canada’s Neilly Ross and Americans Anna Gay and Erika Lang.
It would take a huge effort from the three time SEA Games gold medalist to score an approximate 8,200 points - a score she has yet to achieve in any competitions proper, to make it through to the final round. Her personal best currently stands at 7,600 points.
The Asian category award would recognise the three best Asian skiers in each of the four disciplines - slalom, tricks, jump and overall for both men and women.