World Urban Games in Budpaest get underway with preliminaries on busy first day
The inaugural World Urban Games (WUG) are underway in Budapest, Hungary with some of the preliminaries in the competition and showcase sport events being completed during a fascinating first day of action.
The three-day festival organised by the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) runs from today (13 September) to 15 September and is showcasing the best of urban culture at the Nagyvásártelep, an abandoned market hall known as the Big Market in the south of the Hungarian capital.
The women’s roller freestyle has seen 12 competitors progress to tomorrow’s final with only one of the starting field eliminated.
Colombia’s Maria Platero Mendez may have been the very first to compete on the course but her top score of 52.00 was not enough to secure the 20-year-old a berth in tomorrow’s final.
The top scorer was 29 year old, Maria Munoz of Spain, one of the most experienced competitors on the park, with a score of 76.33.
The original competitor list had 16 women set to show their skills, however a number of injuries and withdrawals mean only 13 women competed.
The preliminaries are completed in the flying disc freestyle, with the eight highest scoring pairs now progressing to tomorrow’s semi-finals. The Italian duo of Anna Bragagnolo and Andrea Rimatori looked to have top scored today, the judges awarding them 50.31 points. However it was the final pairing from the USA of Emma Kahle and Daniel O’Neill who went narrowly better with a total of 51.81
One of the primary aims of the World Urban Games is to appeal to young fans and athletes however some of the more experienced competitors are also out to prove they can keep with their younger counterparts. That was the case in the women’s parkour freestyle as Aleksandra Shevchenko topped the qualification standings.
The 32 year-old Russian got a total score of 25.50, level with Czech teenager Adela Merkova, who is 14 years her junior; with both among the top eight contenders who progress to tomorrow’s final.
Indoor rowing is one of two showcase events being staged this weekend in Budapest and Friday saw the first “challenge” events completed. Britain’s Josh Penrice topped the men’s standings to earn a score of 80, followed by Canada’s Jason Marshall and China’s Liang Zhang, who scored 75 and 68 respectively in second and third place.
Ukraine’s Olena Buryak led the women’s event, ahead of Germany’s Anna Muehle and the Netherlands’ Marloes Oldenburg. Laser run is the additional showcase sport that completes the wide-ranging programme inside the Urban Games Park.