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World wakes up to O'Caoimh

Irish wakeboarders took a silver and bronze medal at the Europe and Africa Wakeboard Championships in Fagersta, Sweden.

Irish pro champion David O'Caoimh from Killiney, Co Dublin, beat wakeboarders from 16 other nations to take silver in the junior men's category.

O'Caoimh, aged 16, has been water-skiing since the age of five and has already competed in two European championships and two world championships. Last winter he travelled first to Durban, South Africa to train with a top-class coach and then moved on to Orlando, Florida where he spent three months training, often on a cable run, which allowed him to practise anytime he wished.

His form since his return has been spectacular and at the Irish championships a few weeks ago at Lake Muckno he beat Peter Stewart and David Coates to win the men's pro title.

In Sweden, O'Caoimh qualified for the semi-finals easily with the highest obstacle score in the junior men's category. He made it through the semi-finals with equal ease and on finals day was the first of the Irish to take to the water.

With cooler temperatures and choppy waters, conditions were difficult, but the young Dubliner threw down two superb passes and gave a magnificent exhibition of his repertoire to finish second behind Dominik Hernler of Austria.

In the men's open final, Belfast rider Pete Stewart missed out on silver by a single point, beating pro riders from Britain and Russia. Stewart had qualified first in his heats after a series of perfectly executed tricks on his run, including his trademark 'Slim Chance'. In the final, another series of top-level technical tricks was marred only by one minor error. He had still done enough to finish third behind British wakeboarder Dan Knott and Nikita Martianov from Russia.

David Coates failed to make it through the heats after failing to land one of his tricks. Sitting it out was Paul Johnston who had picked up a shoulder injury while competing in Russia a few days earlier.

In the women's final, Sian Hurst, a Trinity student who had her knee reconstructed a few months ago, was determined to put on a good show.

She was first out on the water but her lack of practice meant she had a fall, which dropped her out of the medals.