Near misses for Team GB at the World Beach Games
World Beach Games

Near misses for Team GB at the World Beach Games

15 October 2019 / 08:42
Wakeboarder Luca Kidd and climber Nathan Phillips both finished agonisingly off the podium on a packed day of British action at the ANOC World Beach Games. 

Bouldering specialist Phillips, who qualified for the men’s final in fifth place missed out on a medal by the narrowest of margins, taking an additional attempt to complete a zone over eventual bronze medallist Philipp Martin of Germany.

“It was really fun, but tonight’s result was the closest you could get to being on the podium", said Phillips. "I missed out on the bronze by an attempt on a zone, so an attempt on an attempt.

“The support from the Brits was brilliant tonight. It was great to have my fellow Team GB teammates down here to support me, I haven’t experienced anything like that before.”

Whilst a competitive wakeboard field saw 18-year-old Kidd, who has only been wakeboarding with the Pro Men this year, sat in the bronze medal with just one rider to go but unfortunately it was not to be for the reigning World Junior Champion.

“I was stoked to have made it into the finals,” said Kidd. “But once you have made a final you start to expect more of yourself. Unfortunately, I messed up a trick (toe wake 7) at the start of my second pass and that cost me.

“I head out to Mexico for the World Championships in a few weeks, so it has been really good to see where I am at this week. I’ll go back home, get some different tricks in my system and get ready to go again.”

Teammate Robert Hazelwood finished in a credible seventh place in the men’s water ski jump final. Hazelwood struggled with the conditions on the canal and his second-round jump of 55.7m was his best of the day.

“I would have liked to have recorded the 55.7m on my first jump, so I could of built on that with my two other jumps,” said Hazelwood.

“But unfortunately, today wasn’t my day and I will use this as experience and a take away some good learnings from my time in Doha. It has given me plenty to build on.”

Over at Katara Beach three goals in the space on one minute in the first period ensured Team GB’s women’s beach soccer team progressed through to the semi-final tomorrow as Group B winners after they beat Russia 4-1 in their final group stage match.

Goals from Captain Sarah Kempson, Nadine Bazan and Gemma Hillier gave the team a fantastic 3-0 advantage going into the second period.

However, the Russian’s struck early in the second period as they tried to get back into the game, but their efforts were quickly cancelled out when Wendy Martin found the back of the net.

The third period finished 4-1 as Team GB kept their shape and controlled the game superbly, denying Russia the time and space on the ball and the period ended goalless.

“We always knew it was going to be a tough match", said goal scorer Martin. "The team have played Russia quite a few times before and it has always been a close game. But we wanted to keep the momentum going and get another win today, which we did.”

Team GB face Brazil in tomorrow’s semi-final whilst Russia face Group A winners Spain.
“We don’t know much about the Brazilian team", added Bazan. "But you cannot underestimate a Brazilian team. They are known for being technically brilliant on the sand.”

Meanwhile, it was an early start from Team GB’s aquathlon athletes and they tackled the 2.5km, 750m swim and 2.5km aquathlon course at Katara beach at sunrise.

Hannah Kitchin made it through the first transition and into the swim in the leading group, followed closely by Chloe Pollard. However, it was Pollard, the former open water swimmer, that came into her own in the swim and transitioned out of the water in first place.

Hot on her heels was eventual winner Francisca Tous of Spain, with Pollard placing in sixth. Sadly, teammate Kitchin struggled in today’s conditions and did not finish.

An ecstatic Pollard said: “Today was probably my best ever race. I cut my hair for this race because I knew I didn’t want to faff about trying to get my hair into my swimming hat. It was a tactic that paid off as my transition was quicker than others going into the swim leg.  

“Tactically in the swim I tried not to use my legs and instead I focused on using my arms as much as possible to try and catch up the front group. I was surprised when we got out of the water and I was in the lead, I thought I was had just made it to the front of the second group.

“The last lap of the run was hot, and the girls who took me over are 16min 5km runners so to not be too far behind them, I was really pleased with that.”

Conditions were tough again on the water for the Bridges as they experienced one of the hottest and lightest wind days they have had in kiteboard racing as both the men and women had six races on the final day of qualification.

It was a consistent day for 20-year-old Guy Bridge who posted four top six finishes. Frustratingly Guy missed out on second place in the standings by just two points, which would have ensured him an automatic spot in the final, and instead he will compete in the semi-finals on Wednesday.

Brother Olly Bridge, Vice World Champion, struggled for form and speed in today’s races and does not join brother Guy in the semi-finals. Steph Bridge also struggled and didn’t get the results she wanted. 

However, Steph secured her spot in tomorrow’s women’s semi-final where she will have a chance to improve her scores.