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Carlos Mario and Bruna Kajiya Claim the El Gouna RRD Centre Kiteboarding World Cup Titles

The final day at the El Gouna RRD Centre Kiteboarding World Cup was nothing short of spectacular. With 7 heats back to back throughout the day, we saw perfect 10’s, boundaries being pushed, tears, unfortunate injuries, and history being made for freestyle kiteboarding, as our champions for this 4th Elite League event were crowned in front of the fans on the beach of El Gouna.

Riders put on an unbelievable show during the semi-final and final heats at the El Gouna RRD Centre Kiteboarding World Cup. Brazilian’s Carlos Mario and Bruna Kajiya we’re untouchable, both winning in convincing fashion.

The bar has certainly been raised for women’s kiteboarding as our 4 finalists proved during this event. The riding level was astonishing, as Bruna Kajiya, current World Champion, stormed into her heat with a Backside 313 followed by an incredible Heart Attack. Paula Novotna from the Czech republic was eager to repeat her strong performance from her previous heat, and performed a Heart Attack of her own, also scoring points up in the 9’s. Italian Francesca Bagnoli who is new to the Elite League, having qualified at the first event of the year in Leaucate, has certainly proven her talent and dedication, as she overtook Annabel Van Westerop from the Netherlands with an incredible KGB for her last trick attempt. She finished in 2nd place just 1.05 points behind the World Champion. Paula Novotna, unfortunately, seemed unable to maintain her focus during the heat, and missed out on a podium finish. Annabel Van Westerop gave it her all, and with her solid 4 tricks that she started her heat with, she secured 3rd place, making it her 3rd podium finish of the season. The level of kiteboarding amongst the female athletes was nothing short of exceptional during this women’s final, which was won by none other than Bruna Kajiya!

Carlos Mario made history during the Men’s final, with the most outstanding heat ever seen in WKL history. The Brazilian current World Champion landed 5 tricks scoring above 9, and two perfect 10’s. The spectators, fans and fellow athletes could only watch on in astonishment. His performance has catapulted competitive kiteboarding into a whole new level, and his fellow competitors face a stern challenge to try and keep up with him. Luis Alberto Cruz rode phenomenally well, and was sitting in 2nd place, when he had an unfortunate crash on his 5th trick attempt. He had to withdraw from the heat, and was taken to hospital to be treated for a suspected broken rib. He is now recovering well. Despite not being present for the remainder of the heat, his solid scores meant that he still managed to finish with a 3rd place podium finish, a bit of compensation for having giving it his all and having to suffer the painful consequences. Adeuri Corniel from the Dominican Republic crashed his first trick attempt, but then gained his momentum and consistently landed every other trick attempt with favourable scores, and was rewarded with 2nd place, the best result yet for this young and talented athlete. Liam Whaley entered this final with the focus on winning the event, as he had done previously in Leucate. He knew that it was all or nothing, he had to go big and take some risks in order to stand a chance at winning the heat, but unfortunately, 4 crashes cost him dearly, and he was unable to climb his way back up. He finishes the event in 4th position. Carlos Mario wins the Elite League event here in El Gouna!

Final results for the Women:
1 – Bruna Kajiya
2 – Francesca Bagnoli
3 – Annabel Van Westerop
4 – Paula Novotna

Final results for the Men:
1st – Carlos Mario
2nd – Adeuri Corniel
3rd – Luis Alberto Cruz
4th – Liam Whaley