WORLD CHAMPIONS PONCELET – WONG – MAHDZAN CROWNED IN A SEASON TO SAVOUR
LONDON (UK): Tuesday, 22 November: The start of the year saw promoter Race Marketing & Management (RMM) and the World Gravity Sports Federation (WGSF) sign a long-term agreement to herald a new era for the World Downhill Skateboarding Championship – a breath-taking final-final race of the season crowned a season to savour, with the deserved plaudits going to the 2022 world champions, Diego Poncelet, Grace Wong and Abdil Mahdzan.
Race weekends in Italy and the Czech Republic in July, in collaboration with local organisers Not 4 All and Czech Gravity Sports Association O.S. set the tone for the year, with RMM and WGSF rounding the season off in Turkiye in October.
A highly competitive season was highlighted by spectacular competition, thrills and spills with seven different winners in Open Standup, Women’s Standup and Open Street Luge and a further nine grabbing podiums.
Spain’s Diego Poncelet was arguably the rider of the season in Open standup, claiming one pole position and two wins, sealing his title after snatching victory over Kozakov race winner Gregoire Schwab in the closing stages of the final and arguably the race of the year – Switzerland’s Schwab ending the year on the championship podium in third behind France’s Yanis Markarian.
Grace Wong was the most consistent of the women, the Malaysia rider qualifying on pole twice and gracing each step of the podium to narrowly edge Belgium’s two-time race winner Jasmin Hanegraef and claim the title, Germany’s double podium finisher Myrjam Weissschuh taking third overall.
In Open Street Luge the absence in Turkiye of the pre-race favourite and championship leader Mikel Echegaray Diez, the winner in Monticiano and runner-up in Kozakov, left the door open for Malaysia’s Abdil Mahdzan who seized the opportunity, taking pole and going on to take the win and his fifth world title. Canada’s Kolby Park’s consistency and three third-placed finishes sealing the championship runners-up slot ahead of Spaniard Diez.
Belgium’s Elchje Minne and Germany’s Julie Erz went head-to-head in their only outing of the season, with Minne taking the win in Women’s Street Luge.
Three worthy world champions – the countdown, preparations and planning for 2023 are well underway.