Three medal day for Canada in water ski and wakeboard
In her signature pink gear, Whitney McClintock skied her way to the women’s overall gold on Wednesday while teammate Jaret Llewellyn won silver in the men’s event. Rusty Malinoski capped the day with a gold in men’s wakeboard.
The water ski overall competition consists of three different segments: slalom, tricks and jump. First the skiers compete in the slalom event (skiing around buoys at different rope lengths), then they do two trick skiing passes (one while holding the rope with their hand and the other while holding the rope with one of their feet) before finishing the competition on the jump segment (with the longest jump getting the most points). The top competitor in each segment earns 1000 points while the athletes finishing behind are awarded points based on how far behind they are from the leader.
The women’s competition turned into a battle between McClintock and American Regina Jacquess. The Canadian started off her day with a great slalom pass, but after completing four buoys with the rope at 11.25 metres, it was discovered that she didn’t go through the starting buoys at the beginning of her run. As a result, her final run was eliminated and she finished with a score of 0 buoys at 11.25 metres for a total of 869.6 points. That put her behind Jacquess, who earned 1000 points with her pass of 4.5 buoys at 11.25 metres.
In the second portion, McClintock had two amazing passes to finish with a trick score of 8370. That gave her a total of 1869.6 points after two events. Jacquess was only fourth in the tricks event, which left her second overall with 1670.3 points.
McClintock came out flying off the jump, landing her farthest one at 44.8m. The American made it interesting by finishing the overall competition with the longest jumping of the day at 47.0m to give her the top jump score. However, the difference between Jacquess’ and McClintock’s jumps was small enough that McClintock held on to win gold with a combined score of 2796.3 points while Jacquess took silver with 2670.3 points. Mexican skier Carolina Chapoy took bronze with 2226.0 points.
McClintock has a chance to win three more medals on Thursday when she competes in the individual slalom, tricks and jump events. Her brother Jason will also compete on Day 13 in the men’s slalom and tricks events.
In the men’s overall competition, Llewellyn took home the silver medal with a score of 2757.1 points. For a second it looked like Llewellyn had won the gold, but after an appeal from the Chilean team, skier Felipe Miranda was able to retake one of his jumps. As a result of the do-over, Miranda passed Llewellyn to win the gold by only 20.5 points, scoring 2777.6 overall.
Llewellyn took a hard fall in his second slalom pass to finish with a score of 2.5 buoys with the rope at 12 metres. Miranda and Argentinian skier Javier Julio tied for the top place and 1000 points each in the slalom, completing five buoys with the rope at 11.25 metres.
In the second portion, Llewellyn smashed the competition with a trick score of 10,360 to take 1000 points. Miranda was the second place finisher scoring 8950 for a score of 863.9. Heading into the final part of the competition Llewellyn sat in second with a combined score of 1757.1. Miranda was in first place with 1863.9 points, meaning the jumps would decide the final rankings.
Llewellyn jumped out to the early lead, soaring to a 62.1m jump. After Miranda finished his 3 attempts, the Chilean team made a protest as his final jump was affected by changing winds. He ended up receiving another jump, which turned out to be his longest at 58.9m. Llewellyn received 1000 points from the jump, although Miranda’s 913.7 points meant that he won gold with 2777.6 points over Llewellyn’s 2757.1.
Llewellyn will have a chance to win two more medals on Thursday in the men’s tricks and jumps events. His medal from Wednesday is the 10th of his career at the Pan Am Games (eight of which are gold), which makes him Canada’s most successful active athlete at the Pan Ams. Show jumper Ian Millar also entered these Games with nine medals and has individual and team events still to come at Toronto 2015.
In the final event of the day from the Ontario Place West Channel, Rusty Malinoski took gold in men’s wakeboard. Malinoski scored 89.11 on his first run, which wound up securing him top spot. American Daniel Powers rode to a score of 80.44 to take silver, while Venezuelan Juan Mendez won bronze with a 72.22.