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Asia and Oceania Youth Olympic Games Qualifier

China’s Jingle Chen again proved untouchable at the Asia and Oceania Youth Olympic Games (YOG) kiteboard racing qualifiers off Pranburi’s glorious Paknampran Beach.

Chen has barely put a foot wrong and won every one of her races in the girls’ Asia division, giving her a commanding lead that almost assures her the qualification spot going into the final day.

None of Chen’s rivals in the girls’ Asia division seemed to have any answers for the pace and consistency of the reigning TwinTip:Racing (TT:R) Slalom Open World Champion

But there will be rather stiffer competition at the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) TT:R Slalom Youth Worlds in Hainan, China, in May, where the last eight YOG qualification spots will be on offer.

In the girls’ Oceania division Pia Kitchin Gordon finds herself racing in a mixed fleet with the Oceania boys as she is the only entrant, guaranteeing her a qualification spot for the Games in Buenos Aires in October.

The highly-competitive Asia boys’ fleet at the qualifiers, threw up yet another change of lead after the Philippines’ Christian Tio topped the standings.

Tio, a rising kiteboard freestyle star, bagged a trio of first place finishes in the key elimination round deciders, to push local boy and overnight leader Sarun “Nai” Rupchom (THA) into third spot overall.

The Philippines’ rider’s performances also gave him a clear lead in the standings over second placed Haoran Zhang, of China.

Tio has clearly learned quickly since the opening exchanges of the competition, growing faster and fine-tuning his TT:R Slalom race craft.

Top three boys Asia division (after 16 elimination rounds, four discards)
1 Christian Tio (PHI) 18pts
2 Haoran Zhang (CHN) 24pts
3 Sarun Rupchom (THA) 26pts

Top three girls Asia division (after 16 races, four discards)
1 Jingle Chen (CHN) 12pts
2 Kewen Li (CHN) 23pts
3 Nichanan Rodthong (THA) 35.3pts

Top three boys Oceania division (after 16 races, four discards)
1 Mani Bisschops (AUS) 12pts
2 Aaron Kenny (AUS) 24pts
3 William Barlette (AUS) 38pts

Top girl Oceania division (after 16 races, four discards)
1 Pia Kitchin Gordon (NZL) 39pts

Full results, all elimination series results, and live scoring at www.twintipracing.com

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