SINGAPORE: She is a former Asian Wakeboarding Champion and Singapore’s only SEA Games wakeboarding gold medallist —— that makes Sasha Christian Singapore’s undisputed wakeboard queen.
However, her reign could soon be threatened by 13—year—old Gooi Jia Yi, who has set her sights on the 2015 edition of the SEA Games.
Sasha Christian’s domination of the local wakeboarding scene inspired the likes of Gooi, who took up the sport in 2009.
The teen has made good progress with her family’s support. She was 4th at the 2012 Wakefest Singapore competition, but the Nan Hua High student knows she can do better.
She said: "This year I plan to take part in the Wakefest again and then maybe I can go to the Malaysia one in Putra Jaya... (I will have to improve) my back rolls, I have to start doing inverted tricks and the height of my jumps need to be higher."
She is not the only one making waves though.
Mark Leong comes from a family of wakeboarders, but the 1.8m tall ACS boy ditched family tradition for water—skiing as his coach felt he had the right physique for the sport.
He said: "For water—skiing, the aim is to get around six buoys so my height will help to reach for the buoys, which are far out to the side and my height will help me to get around the buoys."
Both Mark and Jia Yi could help Singapore achieve a team medal in 2015.
Paul Fong, general manager of the Singapore Waterski & Wakeboard Federation, said: "We would like to win a few more medals compared to what we did in Palembang, where we won a gold in wakeboarding and we had a couple of silvers.
"We would like to have a team of wakeboarders that can hopefully bring us the team overall, so in that respect, we need good depth."
Should the sport be accepted for the 2015 SEA Games, Bedok Reservoir will be the likely venue for the competition. Bedok Reservoir had played host to the Wakeboard World Cup from 2004 to 2007, where more than 10,000 spectators had lined the shores to watch the action.
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