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Harley Clifford & Raimi Merrit win World Cup in Korea

On The City of Chuncheon in north east South Korea has reason to feel proud today. As the hosts of the 1st World Leisure Games with 12,600 athletes and 42 Disciplines from 50 countries involved, the first major international Final was completed yesterday in style. Organised by the Korea Waterski & Wakeboard Association (KWWA) and the International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF), this 30th Stop of the IWWF World Cup series attracted the highest ranked athletes from 14 countries and a large spectator gallery.
This 30th World Cup Stop took place on the magnificent lake in the centre of the official 1st World Leisure Games Village, putting it within easy reach of the visitors from 50 countries and Chuncheon residents. It was attended throughout by Mr Een-Nam Son, CEO 1st World Leisure Games & Congress.
The first class organization of the KWWA impressed all and added greatly to the occasion. As at every World Cup Stop, the boats were supplied by MasterCraft.
This 30th IWWF World Cup Stop included Waterski Jump, Waterski Shortboard and Wakeboard. The spectacular Stars of Florida Ski Show also added a touch of glamour to the event. While heavy rain and 33C temperatures posed some challenges during the Preliminary Rounds, the Monday Finals enjoyed glorious sunshine and perfect water conditions for all.
The six Heats of the World Cup Wakeboard Preliminaries attracted a full house of enthusiastic spectators. As the later Men's Heats 1 and 2 were completed on the final day, some major stars had already dropped out. These included IWWF 2009 World's silver medalist Austin Hair USA, four time European Champion Dan Nott GBR and Korean National Champion Jaemjan Padiwat. The Monday Finals included the two talented Phillip and Bob Soven brothers from the USA, past IWWF World Champion, Andrew Adkison USA, and Harley Clifford AUS, World Cup star and four-time US Pro Tour Champion. While Adkison lead the field with an outstanding performance, the eventual battle was between 17 year-old Harley Clifford and the more experienced 21 year-old Phillip Soven. At this 30th World Cup Stop, it was Harley Clifford who took the gold medal with a stunning performance. The six Women Finalists also presented a very impressive talent list. These included IWWF World Champion Raequel Hoffman USA, three-time World Cup Champion Raimi Merritt USA, and British National Champion, Nicola Butler. While Hoffman struggled to reach her usual form, Australia's Pro Tour Champion Amber Wing set an early high score. Nicola Butler edged ahead but that left Raimi Merrit with a clear view of what was required to take this title. At just 17 years of age, she captured her fourth well-deserved World Cup gold medal in Chuncheon.


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