ANGELES CITY – Dominik Gührs pulled off a series of difficult, risky tricks to lead fellow German Frédéric von Osten into the finals of the premier Open men wakeboard division of the World Cable Wakeboard Championships at the Deca Wakeboard Park Clark on Saturday.
Gührs humbled von Osten and Nick Davies of Great Britain in Heat 2 in the semis, pooling a whopping 85.33 points in the second run to enter Saturday’s finale as the top qualifier.
Von Osten, winner of the Tokyo World Cup, racked up 75.67 points to clinch the second position in the star-studded group, while Davies, the 2010 winner, rebounded from a so-so performance in the first run (38.00) with a 72.67 ride in the second to gain the No. 3 spot.
Youthful Im San of Korea scored 71.33 points in his first run to grab the last finals berth in the group.
Meanwhile, Susan Larsson gave host Philippines its lone medal in the worlds as she bagged a silver in the open ladies wakeskate event.
Larsson recovered from a 20-point stint in the first run with a 45.00 in the second to take runner-up honors to champ Zuzana Vrablova of Slovakia (62.00). Julie Panzini of France took third place with 35.00.
Jan Kissmann of Germany ruled the men side with 70.67, besting Ollie Moore of Great Britain (66.00) and Mayce Dipple of Austria (61.67) for the plum.
Gührs seized the lead in his first run at the newly-built, world-class cable park, netting a best score of 78.
With a place in the final, the German went for more dangerous tricks in the second run and got it off well for judges' scores of 87-84-85.
"I was safe in the first run so I could risk something in the second run. I did two better tricks in the second run - a switch mobe5 and toeside-backside 9 off the kicker - and I think those were the keys to a better score," said Gührs.
Declan Clifford of Great Britain towed the finals-bound riders from semifinal heat 1 with an average score of 74.33 on his second run. Also through were Israel's Lior Sofer (71.33), Laszlo Papp of Hungary (65.67), and Tatsanai Aye of Thailand (62.33).
The men open finale begins after the ladies' own title showdown at 1 p.m.
British ace Kirsteen Mitchell defends her world crown against compatriots Tor Young and Steph Caller, Sophia Marie Reimers and Cosima Giemza of Germany, Astrid Schabransky of Austria, Denise de Haan of the Netherlands, and Angelika Schriber of Australia.