Heart Attack 7 Heaven – Freestyle Finals Showdown! Day 4 started at the quarter final stage for the Freestyle men’s division, while the women had already progressed to the semis.
The heats were packed with incredibly high trick scores throughout, but there was heartbreak. Long-term competitor, Stefan Spiessberger, re-dislocated his shoulder at the start of the second quarter final. Very out of character, reigning champion Carlos Mario also injured his knee during the warm-up for his semi-final…
Mario’s sudden withdrawal offered the chance to this year’s new tour leader, Maxime Chabloz, to capitalise on points. Could he take advantage?
In the first men’s semi-final Posito Martinez scored the day’s joint-highest trick score with a 9.9 for a heart attack 7, but the Dominican would finish in third, agonisingly just 0.27 off qualifying for the final.
Liam Whaley’s 9.6 for a KGB7 on his penultimate trick had moved him into first, where he finished, just ahead of brave Valentin Rodrigues who was repeatedly landing incredible manoeuvres.
They both progressed to the final.
The second semi-final would have been the best heat of the event, had it not been for semi-final number 1. In the end, Adeuri Corniel took it after a super close heat throughout, with the top three riders all finishing on 33 points, with the decimals making the difference. Adeuri beat Delmas by 0.3, while Maxime Chabloz was left to rue the chance to extend his lead at the top of the championship by missing a good take-off and getting a really low trick score on his final attempt, missing out on the final by 0.7 points!
Valentin Rodriguez / Nicolas Delmas / Liam Whaley / Adeuri Corniel
All four were all worthy finalists, and once again it came down to the last trick.
Adeuri had led the whole final up to the last trick when Rodriguez had slipped into the lead. Adeuri needed a straight 9 to win… and somehow he did it! Scoring a sweet 9 for a heart attack 7. He robbed the young Columbian of his first win, beating him by just 0.01! So close!
The women’s event re-started from the semi-final stage. Rising star and probably most improved female this season, Spaniard Claudia Leon, led much of the heat, but on trick six she opened the door for Brazilian championship chaser Kajiya with a poor Hinterberger 5. Bruna capitalised with a superb front roll to wrapped to take first, but Leon followed her through to the final in second.
In the second semi-final, Mikaili Sol overcame a scare after finding herself on zero points after four tricks! She switched on and made her remaining three tricks count very highly, eventually going through alongside an on-form Rita Arnaus.
Mikaili Sol / Claudia Leon / Bruna Kajiya / Rita Arnaus
A different Mikaili came out for the final, and she put on a flawless display of well-timed hammer-blows to her opponents.
Bruna stayed with her for the first half of the heat before she crashed a crucial front blind mobe on trick four. Mikaili turned the screw with a neat and technical KGB, scoring 8.53. She went on to become uncatchable on trick six with a super cool slim 5, earning her a whopping 9.13 points.
Rita Arnaus continued to impress and what a day she had – cool and consistent but, above all, very clean with her kite low. The pocket-sized Spaniard dropped a very fluid heart attack, scoring 8.37, which meant she regained second place and pushed Bruna into third, with Leon fourth.
So, that’s the Freestyle wrapped up, and we’ll be back on Tuesday when the focus switches to the Kite-Surf wave discipline.
Tuesday Update: The focus now switches to waves… stay tuned!
Location: Bel Ombre, Mauritius at C-Beach Club / Kite Globing
Words: Jim Gaunt
Photos: Ydwer van der Heide and Svetlana Romantsova
Videos: Mintautas Grigas
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