(PRESS RELEASE) After an epic weekend of action in Seoul, APP’s Asian Champions have been crowned, with Japan’s Rai Taguchi taking bullet wins in both Sprint and Distance to claim the overall victory and Korea’s very own Sujeong Lim taking the distance win and a 2nd in sprints to take the overall for the women.
Day 1 featured the APP’s sprint format, which 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 here in Korea after a dominant performance at the Busan SUP Open in 2022, Rai Taguchi from Okinawa, Japan picked up where he left off 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 shows that he still has it amidst a formidable field of talent.
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.
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 powerhouse Daniel Hasulyo who finished in second, with Kenta Yamada from Japan finishing in 3rd.
In the Women’s division, it was once again a battle between Jiwon Choi and Sujeong Lim, with Sujeong taking advantage of 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…..
The next stop will be in Viana do Castelo, Portugal from the 14th – the 16th of July: see you there!
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