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Team Slingshot came out firing last week at the opening stage of the 2016 IKA World Championships, making a big statement to the freestyle world by claiming first and second place in the men’s field and first place in the women’s.

Among a stacked lineup of competitors, the final men’s heat came down to Slingshot teammates Carlos Mario and Youri Zoon. With Mario fresh off an amazing 2015 season and gunning for a world title and Zoon, former two-time world champ, recently returned to team Slingshot, the stage was set for an epic showdown … and the crowd was not disappointed. With both kiters utilizing the RPM’s unrivaled freestyle capabilities, it was Mario’s amplitude and technical style that won over the judges for a first place finish.

For Mario, the win is a continuation of the fiery dominance he established last season. For Zoon, who bested Aaron Hadlow in the semis to face Mario, the result was a solid start to his first season with Slingshot, and the RPM, since winning back-to-back world titles a few years ago.

On the women’s side, tour favorite Karolina Winkowska had a commanding performance as she blazed her way through the field to claim first place over an impressive group of female competitors, including runner-up and top threat Bruna Kaija. Winkowska, who rides the FUEL and the Slingshot Refraction, has her sights set sharply on winning on another world title this season.

Round two of the tour takes place next month- the Leucate Grand Slam in France. Stay tuned!