Bruna Kajiya wins 2022 Vice World Champion title in Brazil

Three-time World Champion, Bruna Kajiya, placed 2nd in the GKA Freestyle Championships in Taiba, Brazil, for an overall Women Runners-Up podium finish to the 2022 season. 

Following earlier events in Salinas del Rey, and Neom, Sauda Arabia, the Copa Kitley GKA Freestyle-Kite World Cup Brazil was one of the most hotly contested and thrilling encounter ever seen in kiteboarding between the world's top riders at what is most likely the best freestyle spot in the world. 

Over the course of three days of action we saw world-first manoeuvres dropped in competition for the first time, while the general level of riding at this event was at a jaw dropping level throughout. 

Maxime Chabloz summed up best how the butter flat water and smooth 18-22 knot wind conditions made for the ultimate throwdown: "The level is insane. There's nothing affecting a rider's performance except their own skills. It's just so good."

According to GKA commentary by Jim Gaunt, Bruna still had an outside chance of reclaiming the world championship at this event if the first place champion Mikaili Sol had finished in fourth position or below. 

At 35, Bruna is the veteran of the women's fleet, but is widely acknowledged as the rider who inspired more female participation in this discipline when she became the first woman to land a backside 315 in 2016.

Showing all the grit and composure that has propelled her to previous success, the Brazilian dug deep during another tight battle in the final against Rita Arnaus, pulling out a signature sweet back mobe under pressure on the final trick to overtake the Spaniard and take second. 

Next event for the Freestylers is the opening round of the 2023 season at Fuwairit Kite Beach resort, Doha, Qatar from 31st January - 4th February. 

Photos: Svetlana Romantsova
Words: Jim Gaunt

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