WAKEBOARDERS MAKE THE JUMP TO LIMA 2019
High-flying athletes at the 2018 Panam Wakeboard Championship secured qualification for their countries to the Lima 2019 Pan American Games by impressing the judges, and the crowd, in Mexico.
The field for the wakeboarding competition at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games is now set after a thrilling weekend of competition in Boca Laguna, Chapala, Mexico. While the individual athletes who will compete in Lima next July have not been officially confirmed, the countries that will be represented are now known.
Eight countries will compete in both the men’s and women’s wakeboarding competition in the Peruvian capital, with one spot reserved for the host nation of Peru. Athletes from Argentina and Mexico secured qualification for their countries in October 2017, leaving five more spots up for grabs last weekend in Mexico in both the men’s and women’s events.
On the men’s side, Argentina once again finished atop the podium as Kai Ditsch impressed the crowd with moves such as the innovative Indy Tootsie Roll. His flawless run resulted in the gold medal for Argentina, while fellow Argentina wakeboarder Ulf Ditsch placed fourth in the tournament to narrowly miss a medal.
Christian Primrose of Canada was able to hold on to second place for the silver medal and the chance to compete at the Lima 2019 Pan Am Games, while Patricio Gonzalez of Mexico finished in third for the bronze.
With only one quota allowed per country and Argentina and Mexico already claiming their positions last year, the other countries to qualify for Lima 2019 were Canada led by silver medalist Primrose, Brazil led by Marcelo Giardi, Colombia led by Juan Martin Velez, the United States with a strong performance by Andrew Adkison and finally Chile with a good outing by Vicente Carcamo.
On the women’s side, Mary Morgan Howell of the United States pulled off trick after trick to win the gold medal, including impressive moves such as the KGB, Tootsie Roll and an Off-Axis 540. Howell’s gold medal also earned the U.S. a spot at Lima 2019 with Howell the likely contender at the Games.
Argentinean teammates Eugenia De Armas and Victoria De Armas won the silver and bronze medals, respectively with very good runs on the water, but only one athlete will be able to represent the albiceleste team next July. Maria Jose Velez narrowly missed the podium at the championship but did earn classification to Lima 2019 for her country Colombia where she will likely compete.
Erika Langman placed fifth for Canada to ensure her country’s place at Lima 2019, while Mariana Nep of Brazil and Ani Sisul of Paraguay also secured qualification to the Pan American Games over the weekend.
It was a great weekend of competition for 62 athletes from nine countries of the Americas who battled for regional bragging rights and the opportunity to compete in Lima next July.
Men’s qualifying countries: Argentina, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Colombia, United States, Chile and Peru.
Women’s qualifying countries: Argentina, Mexico, United States, Colombia, Canada, Brazil, Paraguay and Peru.