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Team Japan Scores Big at WWA Wakeboarding World Championships in Fort Worth
 
Fort Worth, TX - Team Japan scored big today at the No Fear WWA Wakeboard World Championships in Fort Worth, Texas as the first finals of the competition took place. Kenji Harada and Yonosuke Ito grabbed titles in the Masters and Veterans divisions, beating a number of highly ranked American riders.

Three riders from Texas had a disappointing day. Billy Garcia of Austin took fourth in the Masters division, while Holland Finley, also of Austin, finished out of the medal round in the girls division. And in the amateur wakeskate division Huffman's Collin Gee finished fifth.

The competition pulled by Malibu Boats at Marine Creek is the first World Championship to be held in the United States since 2004, and the Americans were expected to dominate. The wins by Harada and Ito, in addition to Canadian Dustin O'Ferrall's win in Mens I, were a surprise.

"The wins by Harada and Ito are a real coup for Japan, especially since they won their respective divisions against Team USA on an American venue," said Shannon Starling, head of the WWA, the world organizing body of wakeboarding. "Add in Dustin O'Ferrall's impressive win, and it was a real good day for the international riders who really stepped it up against the favored Americans."

Team USA did pick up two wakeboarding titles today. Tara Benzel won the Amateur Women's finals while Raimi Merritt took home first in the girls division. Two wakeskating titles also went to Team USA Lance Duffett won in the amateur division and Megan McNeil in the pro women's division.

The No Fear WWA Wakeboard World Championships presented by Malibu Boats is organized by World Sports & Marketing of Orlando, Florida. The Worlds has the support of the following: No Fear, Malibu Boats, Indmar, Verizon Wireless, U.S. Air Force, Circuit City, Sobe, Hyperlite Wakeboards, CWB, Liquid Force, Gator Boards, Wakeworld.com, Wakeboarder.com and One Percent Design.

Wake Boarding, published by World Publications, is the official magazine of the Air Nautique Wake Games. Wake Boarding is the definitive source on all things wakeboarding, with expert coverage of professional instruction, gear, boats and the latest news.


Thursday's Results:

Amateur Women - Finals

1 Tara Benzel USA 71.11
2 Kara Austin USA 60.67
3 Etsuko Matsumoto JAP 36.11


Girls (13 and under) - Finals

1 Raimi Merritt USA 60.56
2 Ashlan Pegden USA 47.56
3 Sofia Gonzalez MEX 35.56
4 Holland Finley USA 31.00

Masters (30-39) - Finals

1 Kenji Harada JAP 62.22
2 Damien Klaas USA 61.33
3 Jeff Barton USA 50.22
4 Billy Garcia USA 39.44

Veterans - Finals

1 Yonosuke Ito JPN 70.44
2 Camilo Gutierrez COL 59.22
3 Alastair Shanks CAN 46.44
4 Jeff Roman USA 34.89

Men's 1 (19-24) - Finals

1 Dustin O'Ferrall CAN 71.89
2 Olivier Derome CDN 61.00
3 Nick Link USA 57.00
4 Leif Lacey USA 52.89
5 Zack Luckett USA 47.78
6 Dylan Miller CAN 40.33
7 Marcos Torres MEX 35.11
8 Fabian Ashley USA 29.78

Amateur Wake Skate - Finals

1 Lance Duffett USA 55.00
2 Tegan Gainan USA 40.00
3 Grant Roberts USA 30.00

Pro Women Wakeskate - Finals

1 Megan McNeil USA 61.67
2 Savannah Barber USA 43.33
3 Renee Jaquess USA 40.00
4 Stef Tor CDN 20.00

Junior Men (14-17) - Quarter Finals

Top 3 Riders advance to next round

Heat 1

1 Jimmy LaRiche USA 63.33
2 Dustin Shows USA 56.11
3 Alex Scagliotti USA 48.33
4 Alex Graydon USA 20.00

Heat 2

1 Ryan Anderson USA 60.00
2 Julian Cohen USA 50.56
3 Jeff Baker USA 35.00
4 Steven Cahail USA 23.89

Heat 3

1 James Hindes USA 51.11
2 A.J Racinelli USA 50.56
3 Phillip Aslinger USA 40.00
4 Kyle Alberts USA 39.44
5 Alex Carranza MEX 28.89

Heat 4

1 Mitchell Langfield AUS 58.33
2 Rhett Whatley USA 50.56
3 Ryan Mocerino USA 45.56
4 Larry Taylor USA 30.00
5 Andrew Shearer USA 25.56

Heat 5

1 Alex Hamrick USA 48.33
2 Jarrod Askew AUS 41.39
3 Eddie Valdez USA 41.11
4 Johnny Tobaben USA 32.78
5 Christopher Perrone USA 23.89

Heat 6

1 Adam Errington USA 61.67
2 James Feid USA 55.00
3 Kirby Liesmann USA 48.89
4 Luciano Rondi Neto BRA 43.33
5 Bradey Price CAN 27.78


Men's 2 (25-29) - Semi Finals

Top 2 Riders advance to next round !

Heat 1

1 Kazuyuki Tsujimoto JAP 56.67
2 Austin Langston USA 45.00
3 Joseph Lemburg USA 44.44
4 Rodrigo Medrano MEX 38.33

Heat 2

1 Justin Harrelson USA 63.33
2 Shinichi Ishii JAP 57.78
3 Yusuke Omura JAP 46.67
4 Marc Poirier CDN 38.33
5 Chad Lowe USA 31.67



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