Kiteboarding: Maximilian Maeder (15) from S’pore wins European Championships Open title, sport news & top stories
SINGAPORE – Kitefoiler Maximilian Maeder celebrated his 15th birthday by winning the men’s Open title at the Formula Kite European Championships 2021 in Montpellier, France on Sunday (September 15th).
And at the end of an outstanding week, he ate his favorite Thai dishes – green curry, pad thai and basil chicken – which were prepared by his mother at home in Switzerland a day later.
The Singapore teenager moved into the final with an underdog chance and needed three match points to beat two-time defending champion Axel Mazella from France, who had taken two points from first place in the qualifying series.
But Maximilian did not want his rival to claim one point for the victory, as the Singaporean conceded all three balls and secured the gold. Mazella had to be content with second place, compatriot Benoit Gomez came third.
Maximilian said, “It didn’t really feel like being on the podium, it felt like it was too good to be true. There are a lot of synonyms – excited, elated … but they don’t even come close . “
“It was well received and it’s a pleasant, long-lasting feeling. I got myself the best birthday present I could.”
Maximilian, who has been training in Croatia since the beginning of the year, said he learned not to focus on the results after a disastrous first day on September 6 when he was too excited about running a race and eventually finished third.
He said: “I was really happy to make it to the final and I didn’t have a lot of expectations so I put a lot of mental energy into staying calm, collected and focused on the race.”
Ong Rong Quan, vice president of the Kitesurfing Association of Singapore, said Maximilian’s progress bodes well for his dream of qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympics, where kitesurfing will take place for the first time.
Ong, 40, said: “Everyone is pretty excited and I can’t downplay the feat Max did. The fact that he can do this in a relatively new sport as a very young man is a great accomplishment for him and for the wider community. “
“It creates hype and interest in the sport and we want to continue on this path. Since it is also an Olympic sport, we hope that more people will be interested in it and that we can build a pool of talent who can push each other forward and hopefully achieve great things for Singapore. “
The win last Sunday, together with the youth world title he won in July, is an advantage for Maximilian as he prepares for the world championships next month in Italy and the youth world championship (U19) in Oman in December.
He is satisfied with his progress so far and adds: “I am slowly reaching the level at which I can implement the basic skills I have learned quite well and now I am starting to refine the details and perfect the little things. It’s a lot more fun and rewarding now. “
He has not yet completed his training plans for the coming weeks, but he knows what he will soon be doing after over a month of vacation: eat homemade curry puffs.
“I need another sample of Singaporean food.”