After two days of training, official competitions begun yesterday morning for the Canopy Piloting and Paragliding Accuracy athletes participating in the World Games 2013 in Cali, Colombia.
The first competition day was punctuated by the airsports Opening Ceremony where athletes and officials paraded in front of the cheering public. FAI President John Grubbström, accompanied by FAI Secretary General Jean-Marc Badan, concluded the ceremony with a speech thanking the people of Cali for their warm welcome.
Paragliding Pilot Tomas Lednik, from Czech Republic, commented: “Everything is special here. I have been part of Opening Ceremonies for World and Continental Championships before, but this is special because we got to parade in front of a big crowd together with the canopy piloting athletes as one big family.“
Parachuting Canopy Piloting: Moledski - Maleze
Parachuting pilots were the first to pit their skills at the Canopy Piloting Accuracy event, in front of full rows of spectators. Flying down towards the ground at high speed and dragging water as they reached the pond, they achieved precision landings right in front of the crowd.
Multi time champion Jason Moledzki from Canada came first in the round 1 of Accuracy with a score of 90 points, followed by Barton Hardie from Norway and Pablo Hernadez Moll from Spain (both 84 pts).
In the round 1 of the Distance event, David Maleze from France, although relatively new in the sport, topped the rankings with 119.19m. Nicolas Batsch (USA) came second with 127,20m, and Jason Moledzki did well again, finishing third after achieving a jump measured at 116.08m.
Paragliding Accuracy: Shaw – Luangiam
In the paragliding accuracy side, 2 full rounds were flown, with changing winds all day. In these challenging weather conditions Andy Shaw from Great Britain was the only pilot to hit the dead centre of the target. He came first in round 1, while Jurijus Jakovlevas (LTU) and Sandor Kaszas (HUN) both achieved 0002. Round 2 was dominated by Asian pilots, with Tanapat Luangiam from Thailand (0001) – only 16 years old ! - and Mitsuharu Koga from Japan (0001) followed by Nanang Sunarya from Indonesia.
The World Games are organised and governed by the International World Games Association (IWGA), under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The 2013 edition takes place in Cali, Colombia, over a period of 11 days from July 25 to August 4 2013. 32 official sports feature in the programme, including Parachuting Canopy Piloting and Paragliding Accuracy, while AeroMusicals (Aeromodelling) is present as a demonstration sport. The Parachuting and Paragliding competitions run concurrently on the same site, for maximum spectator interest, from 1 to 4 August 2013. Some 65 competitors (36 for parachuting and 29 for paragliding) gained entry to the Games.