Young Frenchman Louis Duplan-Fribourg stole the show on the second day of the 2019 IWWF Waterski World Championships.
The 19-year-old certainly gave himself a big push in the early preliminaries of both the men’s slalom and jump events at the Water Sport Complex, Putrajaya on Wednesday.
In the morning slalom session, Fribourg who is fifth out of the docks in series 4, skilfully maneuverer his way across the Putrajaya lake to finish with a score of 2.5/58/11.25.
It is a bit off his personal best of 3/58/10.75 but it is a good finish for the Frenchman who excels in overall, ranking ninth in the world.
It was the afternoon jump session that Fribourg really stood out.
After compatriot Tanguy Dailland had produced an outstanding jump just minutes earlier to be the first skier to breach the 60m mark with 60.1m, Fribourg went on to do even better.
The Eybens native simply flew off the ramp in his second attempt to land with a score 63.7m. It is a new personal best for him, bettering his previous best of 62.8m.
That propelled him into the lead as he eventually finished ahead of Dailland and Slovakia’s Marek Mlynek (58.4m) on the day.
With the big guns in jump series 2 and 1 yet to come on Friday, it is certainly a good start for Fribourg.
Meanwhile the day’s other action saw just seven skiers make headway on the 12m rope in slalom.
Apart from Fribourg who finished joint third with Ukraine’s Alexander Samoilov, the others who did well on the 11.25m includes joint leaders Morgan Diehl of New Zealand and Diego Font of Mexico (4/58/11.25).
Switzerland’s Vincent Stadlbaur was fifth with 2/58/11.25 while Ukraine’s reigning world Under-21 champion Danylo Fil’chenko and Belarus’ Stepan Shpak both finished joint sixth on 1.5/58/11.25.
“I came into this worlds looking to better my scores from my debut worlds two years ago. I already did better in slalom compared to Paris 2017 so I’m pretty pleased even though it’s not a personal best,” said Shpak.
On the local front, there was good news for the Yoong boys as Aiden Yoong Hanifah and Adam Yoong Hanifah both claimed a personal best in slalom.
After a disastrous tricks outing on Tuesday, Aiden finished with 1.5/58/16, erasing his previous best of 0.5/58/16.
Adam did even better, scoring 2/58/16 for a new personal best and a new Malaysian Under-17 record.
“I was just a little tense. I just went ahead and did my score, which I didn’t expect at all. In fact, I wasn’t expecting to complete my first pass,” said Adam.
Said Aiden, “I too didn’t expect much. I wasn’t thinking about running on 58 on my first pass since I barely train on this speed.”
The competition resumes on Thursday with the women’s slalom preliminaries, women’s jump preliminaries and men’s tricks preliminaries.