THE prospect of Aaliyah Yoong being among the 12 finalists in the women’s jump category in the IWWF World Waterski Championships in Putrajaya looks bleak.
The 16-year-old could only finish third among four skiers in series (group) three of the category after recording her best effort of 37.2 metres at the Putrajaya Water Sports Complex in Precint Six yesterday.
World junior jump champion Sade Ferguson of Australia topped the series with 46.5m while Ukraine's Stanislava Prosvetova (42.1m) was second.
The top 12 finalists for all categories will only be known after the completion of all the preliminary series later this week.
All finals will be held on Saturday and Sunday.
Aaliyah, who admitted to getting off to a slow start, was still pleased with her overall performance.
“It was tough for me at the start, the wind was quite strong and I had to make quite a few adjustments,” said the teenager.
“My score today (yesterday) was kind of close to my personal best (38.9m). Overall, I think my skiing was okay. I am satisfied with my performance.
“I have a day off tomorrow (today) and will compete in the slalom preliminaries on Thursday.”
Aaliyah’s younger brothers — Adam and Aiden — also failed to shine on the opening day of the competition.
The 11-year-old Adam, who is the youngest member in the national squad, scored 3,320 points while Aiden, 13, managed 2,840 in the men’s tricks preliminaries.
Adam is in 12th place and Aiden two spots below after series three and four.
Peru’s Rafael De Osma topped the day’s scoresheets in the discipline with 6,950, followed by Italy’s Luca Spinelli (6,140) and Slovakia’s Marek Mlynek (5,880).
“My brothers didn’t do too well today (yesterday) but they are still kids and it’s their first time competing in the world meet. They probably put a lot of pressure on themselves,” said Aaliyah of her siblings’ performance.
Aiden and Adam will compete in the men’s jump and slalom preliminaries today.
Another Malaysian, Nadiah Nasir, finished the women’s slalom series four in ninth place on 1.50 buoys/55kmh/18.25m rope.
Peru’s Delfina Cuglievan (2.00/55/11/25) came out tops in the session, followed by Kiwi Toni Atkinson (3.00/55/12.00) and Briton Eleanor Benjamin (5.00/55/13.00).
Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad officiated the opening ceremony of the world meet.