FRANCE AND ITALY TAKE WATERSKI AND WAKEBOARD GOLD MEDALS AT 1st MEDITERRANEAN BEACH GAMES IN PESCARA

With 24 countries competing in the inaugural Mediterranean Beach Games in Pescara Italy over ten days, the Opening Ceremony at the Porto Touristico Stadium was broadcast live on Channel RAI SPORT1. Singer Kelly Joyce headlined the show with a spectacular laser light and music presentation. With 900 athletes from eleven multi-sport disciplines in the parade, all were welcomed by the President of the Mediterranean Games International Committee, Amar Addadi and Government officials.
In glorious 33C sunshine, Pescara’s beaches were packed with spectators. Wakeboard and Waterski Tricks and Slalom were among the first disciplines to thrill the crowds in the Stadio del Mare site and captured the newspaper headlines throughout the weekend.
In Pro Ladies Wakeboard, Italy’s own seventeen-year-old star Giorgia Gregorio was clearly in a league of her own and took a very popular and well deserved gold medal. However, it was Egypt’s fifteen-year-old National Champion with just five years’ experience, Sina Luxor, who surprised many in taking the silver medal, ahead of Marie Vympranietsova (GRE). The spectators then raised the tempo for the Pro Men Final as there was only one Italian rider involved, National Champion Nicolo Caimi. Could he make it an Italian gold medal double! Yann Calvez (FRA) with 45.22 points set a very high standard from the start. Lucas Langlois (FRA) got closest to that with 44.13. Caimi did exactly what the spectators wished for and came ashore to his cheering fans with a score of 57.89 to take the double for his country. The Wakeboard results are available at :
In the Waterski Slalom finals, eight women took to the early morning warm Mediterranean waters. Cyprus, Greece, Italy and France made it through. Number six off the dock was Slalom specialist and experienced National Champion Beatrice Ianni (ITA). Not used to competing on sea water, almost all were tested in adapting.  However, Ianni was impressive and also the first to score on the short twelve meter line – with three buoys. World Cup and international star Clementine Lucine (FRA) took on the challenge. She raised the score to 3.5 buoys on this line, much to the delight of Team Manager Christophe Duverger. Only past Europe Africa Slalom Champion Claire Lise Welter (FRA) could now take the gold medal from Lucine. However, she had to settle for 2.5 buoys on the longer thirteen meter line. Clementine Lucine (FRA) added yet another gold medal to her enormous collection.  Water conditions were also good for the seven men who made it to the Finals. Only one had prior significant salt water experience – Thibaut Dailland (FRA), from his time in Mauritius and Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Italy’s Snow Ski instructor, Lorenzo D’Alberto, set the early pace with a score of five buoys on the 14.25m line, one ahead of Yannis Kokkinos of Cyprus. Davide Napolitano, another of Italy’s strong Slalom athletes, raised the lead score to 3 buoys on the short twelve meter line. That just left Thibaut Dailland. Could he make it a French double gold in Slalom ? In fact, his performance was flawless. He cleared the full twelve meter line and took the gold medal with two boys on the 11.25m line. A double gold for France.
As the hot sun began to sink over the blue Mediterranean, six men and five women took on the Waterski Tricks Finals challenge – Italy, France and Greece for the Open Men and Italy, France, Greece and Cyprus for the Open Ladies. Alexandre Poteau (FRA), a past US Masters and World U21 Champion, was first to impress with a score of 7,280 points, although well below his best. Nikolas Plytas (GRE) improved this to 7,690 points with just two Skiers remaining. Hot favourite, National and two-time US Masters Champion,  Pierre Ballon (FRA) raised this to 8,890 points although again below his usual high standard. This left the door open for Thibaut Dailland (FRA), who had already taken the Slalom gold medal. With a cool head, he did just this with a final score of 9,010 points.  The five judges and timer then prepared for the Open Ladies and it was fourteen-year-old Ianthi Armeny from Cyprus who brought the cheers from the spectators. She had already set a new personal best score in the Semi Finals of 2,420 points and went home happy. National Champion Natalia Paschou (GRE) then set the pace with 3,460 points and this was quickly raised to 3,470 points by National Champion Maria Luisa Pajni (ITA). Both were lower than expected and this again left the door open for Clementine Lucine (FRA) to take yet another gold medal with a score of 6,470 points.
The Waterski Slalom and Tricks scores are available at :
International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) President, Kuno Ritschard, congratulated all the Wakeboard and Waterski winners and  congratulated the Mediterranean Beach Games organisers and Pescara on the success of this inaugural event involving 900 athletes from 24 Mediterranean countries.