The APP Crowns Asian Champions In Seoul

Photo courtesy: APP World Tour Photo courtesy: APP World Tour

SEOUL, South Korea - Following an exhilarating weekend of competition in Seoul, the Asian Champions of the APP have emerged victorious. Rai Taguchi from Japan achieved remarkable bullet wins in both the Sprint and Distance events, securing the ultimate triumph. Meanwhile, Sujeong Lim, hailing from Korea, claimed the distance victory and secured a commendable second place in the sprints, thereby clinching the overall victory in the women's category.

Seoul provided an idyllic backdrop for the 2023 APP Asian Championships presented by KAPP, as the Han River gracefully flowed through the city. As the capital of Korea, boasting a population of 25 million residents, this event offered a splendid opportunity for KAPP to showcase the sport to a vast urban population. Moreover, the event welcomed athletes from across Asia to this splendid new venue, which serves as a central hub for water sports activities in the heart of Seoul.

Competitors from Japan, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, the Philippines, and Saudi Arabia converged, setting the stage for a thrilling display of paddling prowess. And true to expectations, the athletes delivered an awe-inspiring showcase of their exceptional skills and performance.

NeilArmstrong IMG 2586Photo courtesy: APP World Tour

Sprint Races - Day 1

Day 1 featured the APP's sprint format, that saw pros all the way through to entry level enthusiasts take on the 300m course in front of a passionate crowd. In the men's division, clearly feeling right at home in Korea after a dominant performance at the Busan SUP Open in 2022, Rai Taguchi from Okinawa, Japan picked up where he left of putting on another dominant performance in the sprints, followed by an in-form Daniel Hasulyo of Hungarian origins, but now resident in Thailand. In 3rd place, it was another Okinawan legend Ryohei Yoshida who showed that he still has it amidst a formidable field of talent.

NeilArmstrong AW0A2799 20 NeilArmstrong AW0A2785 1

Photos courtesy: APP World Tour

In the Women's division, it was all about Jiwon Choi, Korea's proud ambassador on the APP World Tour in 2022, as she demonstrated her experience and prowess to finish ahead of a rapidly progressing field of talent in Korea. In 2nd place it was Sujeong Lim, demonstrating a big step up in her performance from last year and in 3rd, Hyoju Yang.

Distance Race - Day 2

NeilArmstrong AW0A3118Photo courtesy: APP World Tour

Day 2 featured an exciting distance course that consisted of a (3) x 3km lap course with a dynamic zigzag section that, with the calm, flat water conditions, provided little room for error and dramatic spectacle for the assembled crowds. It was once again a Rai Taguchi show completing 4 wins in as many races for him here in Korea, although right on his heels for the entire race was the distance power house Daniel Hasulyo who finished in second, with Kenta Yamada from Japan finishing in 3rd.

NeilArmstrong IMG 2597Photo courtesy: APP World Tour

In the women's division, it was once again a battle between Jiwon Choi and Sujeong Lim, with Sujeong taking the advantage on this race, taking the lead early and holding it through to a convincing win, clearly demonstrating that she is one of Asia's new leading lights. In 3rd place was once again Hyoju Yang, completing the podium for the distance.

The KAPP (Korean division of the APP) put on a truly professional event, fitting of the international field in attendance that included athletes from Japan, China, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Saudi Arabia and brought together not only the pro spectacle, but participation at every level. But perhaps the most exciting takeaway of the weekend was the U12 division that was brimming with passionate Champions of the future, as KAPP continues to nurture a vitally important pathway for paddlers of the future in South Korea: an exciting sign of things to come.....

NeilArmstrong AW0A3233Photo courtesy: APP World Tour

Next stop will be in Viana do Castelo, Portugal from the 14th - 16th July: see you there!

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Last modified onMonday, 15 May 2023 12:55

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