With the Ninth day of competition underway at the Lifesaving World Championships a clear rivalry has started to form. The traditional cross Tasman rivals, Australia and New Zealand have emerged at the top of the overall leader boards. Currently New Zealand leads the Open Nationals teams with 403 points with Australia trailing by 9. Roles are reversed in the Youth Nationals Teams with Australia leading 526 to 510.
France is the next best positioned team placing third in the Youth and fifth in the Open. Great Britain, South Africa, Spain, USA, Canada, Hong Kong/China and Argentina round out the top ten of the Youth while Italy and Germany have placed third and fourth in the Open with Spain, Poland, China, Netherlands, Japan and Great Britain trailing behind.
Queensland duo Matt Davis and Prue Davies from the Currumbin Beach Vikings have been raking up the medals. Davies taking out four silvers across two days of competition while Davis is taking home a gold in the 100 m Rescue Medley as well as two silvers from the pool.
In the Youth competition New Zealand star Claudia Kelly has taken home six medals, with a gold in the Oceanwoman ahead of Australians Naomi Scott and Tiarnee Massie. While Scott and Massie had to settle for silver and bronze their combined forces earnt them two golds in the Board Rescue and Oceanwoman Relay along with fellow teammates Lani Pallister and Leah Rampoldi.
However, today the leader board could change as the Youth and Open swap disciplines. Open heading to the Ocean after two days of pool events while Youth are leaving the surf to compete at the Marion Aquatic and Leisure Centre.
Heading into the weekend plenty of Australian stars are heading into the surf. Look out for Australian captain Harriet Brown, along with two-time Australian surf race champion Georgia Miller and Ironmen Kendrick Louis and Matt Bevilaqua as they compete in their favoured element. There will be plenty of action over the next few days, both at the pool and in the ocean, with Australian and New Zealand battling to take out the top spot.
International Lifesaving Federation President Graham Ford welcomed the first competitors at the Lifesaving World Championships on the first day of competition today. The event began with the Masters Interclub competition at the SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre with Beach events to follow early next week.
Registrations for the event have made it the largest lifesaving sport event in history Mr Ford said “7000 participants from around the world who have come here to Adelaide to compete and volunteer at the Lifesaving World Championships”.
“We have competitors from all of our four regions around the world, we have lifesavers from African countries, from Asian countries, Europe and the Americas” said Mr Ford.
Event organisers are expecting record crowds at both the pool and beach competitions. With the addition of a Nippers Carnival and International IRB racing audiences can expect to see all facets of the Lifesaving movement on display.
Mr Ford said “I think there will be big crowds, especially at Glenelg. The infrastructure that has been put in is quite significant. Clare Harris (Surf Life Saving SA CEO) and her team from Surf Life Saving South Australia have done a great job putting everything together and I think we will see well over 10,000 spectators here on the two main weekends”.
When asked about the Australian team’s chances on home sand he said he thought it would be a tough contest with every point in every event counting.
“New Zealand are the reigning World Champions, they have held that title since 2012. It will get down to the last on one or two events which will be the traditional Ocean Man and Ocean Woman. Those last few events will determine who will be the World Champions and there is 45 countries vying for that title!”.
To mark the 6-months-to-go milestone, the ILS have finalised and released the competition schedules for the Lifesaving World Championships Adelaide 2018.
Lifesaving World Championships 2018 Event Director Conny Wilson, said “we are excited that the programmes have been launched, this is marking a significant milestone as we reach 6-months-to-go. We have a close relationship with the ILS, and the publication of the programmes means we are better equipped to drive registrations and move ahead on key operational aspects of the event”.
ILS Event Director John Martin added “The publication of the detailed competition programmes today is the culmination of a huge amount of work by the Sport Commission Secretary, Jelle Meintsma, greatly assisted by Greg Allum from the ILS Event Management Committee to produce the fine detail for each event following the recent Co-ordination Committee meeting in April in Glenelg. The Chief Referees for the different Championships have also had significant input to the design of the programmes. The ILS Sport Commission is pleased to have been able to publish these programmes on time on the LWC 2018 website. We look forward to the increasing number of teams entering the Lifesaving World Championships now that the detailed programmes are available.”