Sharjah serves up a fitting finale.
By Alaric Gomes, Chief Reporter
Sharjah: Sharjah served up a fitting finale to the 2017 UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship, with Wednesday's final Moto deciding the Sharjah Grand Prix winners and the event closing with the crowning of the world champions.
It was a day for champions with Kuwait's Yousuf Al Abdul Razzaq, Quinten Bossche and Emma-Nellie Ortendahl reaffirming their status as world champions taking the Sharjah titles in Runabout and Ski. It was not the result the four-time Runabout world champion Al Abdul Razzaq had hoped for, securing the overall victory with third place, the Moto win and second place overall going to Lars Akerblom.
Akerblom made a blistering start and the only rider able to live with his pace was Andrzej Wisniewski, who produced by far his best performance of the season and followed him to the chequered flag to take the final podium spot.
In Ski, there was a bitter twist in the tale for Moto 1 and Moto 2 winner Kevin Reiterer, who led from the start but broke down half way round lap 1 handing the lead, the win and the Grand Prix title to Bossche, capping a great year end for the young Belgian rider.
Despite not finishing, Reiterer's two wins on Tuesday were enough to give him the runners-up slot, with Stian Schjetlein finishing second on Wednesday to take third on the podium.
Bossche was unchallenged and cruised to the chequered flag with a 40-second margin over Schjetlein. Axel Courtois produced his best result of the year finishing in third, with Mickael Poret's fifth place securing third place in the overall world championship standings behind Bossche and Reiterer.
In the Ladies' division, there was no holding back Ortendahl, who led from start-to-finish to complete the win hat-trick by 12.66s and claim her second successive Sharjah title and remain unbeaten on Khalid Lagoon, starting from pole position twice and winning five times in two years.
Krista Uzare rounded out a great weekend to take second place and chalk up her best overall result of the season and her first podium. Third place in Wednesday's Moto went to Estelle Poret to seal the runners-up spot in the world championship standings, but it was Kylie Ellmers who took the remaining Grand Prix podium place after finishing in fourth.
The only world title do be decided was Freestyle and it was Nac Florjancic who claimed it. The UAE's Rashid Al Mulla, who has been the standout performer over the last three days, sealed the Sharjah Grand Prix title with another incredible display of aerial acrobatics taking the win by 88-87 points against Florjancic with Roberto Mariani in third.
Runabout GP1: 1. Yousuf Al Abdul Razzaq (Kuwait) - 66pts; 2. Lars Akerblom (Sweden) - 58pts; 3. Andrzej Wisniewski (Poland) - 42pts.
Ski GP1: 1. Quinten Bossche (Belgium) - 65pts; 2. Kevin Reiterer (Austria) - 50pts; 3. Stian Schjetlein (Norway) - 47pts.
Ski GP1 Ladies: 1. Emma-Nellie Ortendahl (Sweden) - 75pts; 2. Krista Uzare (Latvia) - 56pts; 3. Kyllie Ellmers (New Zealand) - 38pts.
Freestyle: 1. Rashid Al Mulla (UAE) - 75pts; 2. Nac Florjancic (Slovenia) - 60pts; 3. Roberto Mariani (Italy) - 48pts.
UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship
Runabout GP1: 1. Yousuf Al Abdul Razzaq (Kuwait) - 186pts; 2. Lars Akerblom (Sweden) - 155pts; 3. James Bushell (Great Britain) - 127pts.
Ski GP1: 1. Quniten Bossche (Belgium) - 196pts; 2. Kevin Reiterer (Austria) - 140pts; 3. Mickael Poret (France) - 133pts.
Ski GP1 Ladies: 1. Emma-Nellie Ortendahl (Sweden) - 212pts; 2. Estelle Poret (France) - 165pts; 3. Krista Uzare (Latvia) - 141pts.
Freestyle: 1. Nac Florjancic (Slovenia) - 191pts; 2. Roberto Mariani (Italy) - 165pts; 3. Rashid Al Mulla (UAE) - 150pts.
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