GKA Freestyle-Kite World Cup Neom

Most leading contenders are safely through to the finals, with Mario and Chabloz surprisingly swept aside at Qatar Airways Freestyle-Kite World Cup Neom after a strange passing rain system overnight delivered super strong conditions in the morning as the weather cleared.

Waiting for a suitable drop in wind speeds, we were able to complete both the women’s and men’s semi-finals here on day three, setting up a mouth-watering final line-up to come on Saturday morning.

Bruna Kajiya has been the leading contender in the women’s so far and for the second day in a row was the highest heat scorer. Easing her way into tomorrow’s final, she led her semi-final from the start.

Mikaili Sol won the second semi-final, but had to dig into a different skillset as the winds had really dropped back by then. Although the current champion was forced to ride with a higher kite than normal to find power, she also reached the final in full command.

Semi-final runners-up who also qualify for tomorrow’s final are Spaniards Rita Arnaus and Claudia Leon.

Manoel Soares & Arthur Guillebert came through the semis together – Svetlana Romantsova pic

We had started the day with stronger conditions for the men and the first semi-final exploded to life with three riders breaking through the 30 point barrier.

The 2021 World Champion, Arthur Guillebert, put on one of the best performances we’ve ever seen from him, not only locking Maxime Chabloz from the final, but he also kept the two in-form Brazilians at bay.

Guillebert pulled out the highest heat score of the day in the second semi-final with all four of his counting scores in the high 8 point range.

Current tour leader Manoel Soares is a definite contender here and followed Guillebert through to the final in second. The Brazilian stomped a 9 point score for his near perfect heart attack 7 and only lost the lead to the Frenchman in the very final stages of the heat.

Chabloz and Mario found themselves in the unusual position of not qualifying for the final.
Colombian Juan Rodriguez continues his hot form and won the other semi-final thanks to a constant barrage of tricks, loaded with height and power. Gianmaria Coccoluto couldn’t quite match the Colombian’s scores, but also qualified for the final.

Semi-final results:

Men’s Semi-Final 01
Juan Rodriguez (COL) 31.60
Gianmaria Coccoluto (ITA) 29.86
Luis Alberto Cruz (DOM) 28.13
Matteo Dorotini (ITA) 17.20

Men’s Semi-Final 02
Arthur Guillebert (FRA) 33.97
Manoel Soares (BRA) 33.20
Maxime Chabloz (SUI) 31.94
Carlo Mario (BRA) 28.67

Women’s Semi-Final 01
Bruna Kajiya (BRA) 26.16
Rita Arnaus (ESP) 22.56
Francesca Bagnoli (ITA) 16.20
Alexandra Torres (ESP) 11.07

Women’s Semi-Final 02
Mikaili Sol (BRA) 22.58
Claudia Leon (ESP) 20.07
Nathalie Lambrecht (SWE) 18.37
Karlie Thoma (HAW) 1.94

The Finals to come:

Women’s Final:
Claudia Leon (ESP) / Rita Arnaus (ESP) / Mikaili Sol (BRA) / Bruna Kajiya (BRA)

Men’s Final:
Gianmaria Coccoluto (ITA) / Juan Rodriguez (COL) / Arthur Guillebert (FRA) / Manoel Soares (BRA)

Find full heat reports on the live ticker and all information on the event live page:

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