Medal haul in­clu­sive

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

The 2014 New Zealand Bare­foot Wa­ter­ski Team have re­turned from the bi­en­nial World Cham­pi­onships with the big­gest medal haul this coun­try has ever had in the ex­treme sport of bare­foot wa­ter­ski­ing.

New Zealand can now boast two new world cham­pi­ons: Brooke Fitch took the ju­nior girls’ ti­tle and Be­van Kelly re­claimed his se­nior men’s ti­tle.

And cousins Ben Groen and Ge­or­gia Groen both won sil­ver over­all medals in the open di­vi­sions. These achieve­ments were well-sup­ported by the rest of the team with medals for all New Zealand com­peti­tors.

The ju­nior team (skiers 17 years and un­der) had two tal­ented Waikato skiers in it – James Leen and Wil­liam Leigh from Ti­rau.

Both fought their way into the semi­fi­nals. James in slalom and jump; while Wil­liam made the cut in tricks and jump.

As a re­sult James ended up sixth over­all and Wil­liam was 11th. For these boys the ex­pe­ri­ence of meet­ing and ski­ing against the top in­ter­na­tional bare­foot wa­ter-skiers was only sur­passed by the bronze medals they won in the team event.

The other Waikato skier rep­re­sent­ing New Zealand was Piarere Ski Club mem­ber, Kathy Dux­field, com­pet­ing in the se­nior women di­vi­sion against skiers who can be up to 15 years her ju­nior.

This was the fourth time Dux­field has skied at the World Cham­pi­onships and the first time in the fi­nals – top five skiers.

She per­formed con­sis­tently through­out the com­pe­ti­tion to con­trib­ute strongly to the sil­ver medals brought home by the New Zealand se­nior team, edg­ing out a com­pet­i­tive Amer­i­can team in do­ing so. Sil­ver medals were also won by the New Zealand open team.

In ad­di­tion, New Zealand’s Mar­guerite Scott, skied as an in­de­pen­dent skier in ju­nior girls and made it into the tricks fi­nal.

Photo: SUP­PLIED

Best per­for­mance yet: James Leen, Kathy Dux­field and Wil­liam Leigh at the Bare­foot Wa­ter­ski­ing World Cham­pi­onships.

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