A passion filled Asian Qualifier sets the stage for APP World Tour in September.
Monday 6th June, Gwangalli Beach, Busan: set to the backdrop of the unmistakable Gwangalli Bridge, the Asian Qualifier for the 2022 APP World Tour to take place from September 23rd – 25th provided the perfect precedent and readied a passionate community of Korean paddlers for what is to come in just a few months time.
The local Korean Office of the APP (K-APP) did a fantastic job of bringing a World Class and inclusive event to the shores of Gwangalli Beach in Busan and meshing exciting competition, with mass participation at every level, from the APP’s Paddle for the Oceans initiative, to kids racing and sport demos, perfectly capturing the spirit and vision of the APP.
Day 1 dawned sunny and beautiful as the community came together to support the APP’s and K-APP’s pledge to ‘Paddle for the Oceans’. From young to old, competitive paddler to casual enthusiast, everyone took to the water to celebrate the beautiful environment we are blessed with:
It was then time for the APP Qualifiers to hit the water, as athletes from all over Korea and as far away as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia assembled for the APP’s signature Sprint format, the first step in determining which 2 Men and Women would qualify for the 2022 APP World Tour.
After a great battle it was the Korean favorite Han Seong Ho who took top honors with a convincing win, while in the Women’s division it was Kim Na Yeon who came out on top. Check out the highlights here:
Despite unusual rain and wind, the energy was high for Day 2 of the Asian Qualifier, as the distance saw a lap course taking athletes back and forth under the famous Gwangalli Bridge in a battle to the end across both divisions to determine who would qualify for the 2022 APP World Tour, but also the additional local wildcards for the forthcoming Busan SUP Open in September.
It was a clean sweep for Han Seong Ho in the Men’s division as he took victory once again in front of a home crowd securing his spot on the 2022 APP World Tour. Meanwhile in the Women’s it was Choi Ji Won who took top honors, which combined with her second place in the sprints on Day 1 secured her victory in the event and a worthy spot on the 2022 APP World Tour
Qualifying alongside Han Seong Ho and Choi Ji Won are the second place finishers in Men and Women’s respectively: Lee Jin Hee and Im Soo Jung.
Following standout performances, Local Wildcards for the Busan SUP Open were awarded to the following Men:
- Han Sang Jin
- Kim Kun Woo
- Ju Wan Jong
And for the Women, the following have secured their places in the Main Event:
- Park Ho Yeon
- Jeon Ji In
- Yang Hyo Ju
Check out the highlights for Day 2 here:
So it was an amazing first step for the APP and K-APP in Korea and exciting to see the emerging talent from this side of the world as well as the passion and enthusiasm around the sport.
We can’t wait to return to the incredible venue at Gwangalli Beach for the 2022 Busan SUP Open that will take place from the 23rd – 25th September 2022. As always, there will be Main Event Pro Competition, but also something for everyone, from aspiring Pro and open competition to casual enthusiast to youth activities. We look forward to seeing you there!