The Australian Lifesaving Team’s (ALT) strong 10-person squad has taken out their 11th consecutive Sanyo Bussan International Lifesaving Cup title in Japan over the weekend.
Australia came away with 897 points, beating New Zealand, our rivals from across the ditch, by just 28 points (869 points). Host nation Japan rounded out the top three with an overall point score of 675 points.
WA’s own Youth Athlete of the Year, Jake Smith, and back-to-back Open Athlete of the Year, Jackson Symonds, both lived up to their titles, with both athletes coming away with medals.
Jackson said the experience at Momochi Beach in Japan was unreal.
“It was good to get to race against some of the best athletes from around the world, with a great bunch on team mates,” he said.
The Beach Sprint was the first event to kick off Day 1, allowing Sorrento Surf Life Saving Club beachie Jackson Symonds to shine. Jackson, who this year became the first runner in over 50 years to win a fourth Australian title in the Beach Sprint, went head-to-head with New Zealander Murdoch Finch, and came away with the 1st place.
Trigg Island Surf Life Saving Club’s Jake Smith also proved his athleticism during the second event of Day 1, taking on New Zealand’s Louis Clark and Japan’s Takumi Ikehata to secure a well-fought 3rd place in the Surf Race.
In the team events on Day 1, Jackson, Jake and the Australian side continued their dominance, with:
- 1st place in the Ocean Man Relay (Max Brooks, Daniel Collins, Jackson Symonds, Hayden White)
- 1st in the Surf Team Race (Prue Davies, Mariah Jones, Daniel Collins, Jake Smith),
- 2nd in the Beach Relay, keeping on par with their 2017 results (Max Brooks, Jake Smith, Hayden White, Jackson Symonds)
- 2nd in the Rescue Tube Rescue, improving on their 2017 result of 3rd place (Daniel Collins, Max Brooks, Hayden White, Jackson Symonds)
On Day 2, the competition fiercened, but that didn’t stop Jackson from taking on Japan’s Shintaro Mori and securing the top gong in the Beach Sprint again.
Australia’s teams dominated in the Surf Team Race (Prue Davies, Mariah Jones, Daniel Collins, Jake Smith), Rescue Tube Rescue (Daniel Collins, Jake Smith, Hayden White, Jackson Symonds) and Ocean Man Relay (Hayden White, Jackson Symonds, Max Brooks, Daniel Collins), with a 1st place result in all three events.
The full schedule and results can be found here: http://sanyo-lifesavingcup.com/schedule
With the event over for another year, Jackson said he has a few take away learning points to improve for next year.
“I think what I learnt most from the competition was that small nations like Japan, Great Britain, South Africa and USA are all improving and becoming really competitive. The level of racing at the Sanyo cup is getting harder and harder every year,” he said.
Jackson and Jake have also both been selected as part of the 12-person Australian team to compete at the Life Saving World Championships 2018 (LWC2018) from the 16th November to the 2nd of December in Adelaide.
Congratulations to the full team below, who did Australia proud on the international stage!
Sanyo Bussan Cup 2018 – Australian Life Saving Team
|Tweed Heads & Coolangatta
Team Coaches & Management:
- Coach – Kurt Wilson
- Assistant Coach – Shannon Eckstein
*Photos courtesy of Australian Lifesaving Team
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