Sanne Meijer of The Netherlands overcame nerves to win the gold in the wakeboarding at the ANOC World Beach Games in Doha ©ANOC World Beach Games

Sanne Meijer of The Netherlands won the women’s wakeboarding gold medal and Massimiliano Piffaretti of Italy took the men’s title at the Association of National Olympic Committees World Beach Games after the format of the competition was re-arranged here following a competitor ballot. 

The wakeboarders voted to change competition to straight finals for men after wind had made a preliminary competition impossible.

Meijer took women's gold with a run of 83.78 points. 

This broke down as 28.53 points for execution, 28.64 for composition and 29.06 for intensity and put her far ahead of her competitors.

"I wrote history today for sure," Meijer told insidethegames.

"It is great, normally I am pretty nervous but today I was extra nervous because everyone was putting down a pretty good run.

"I had in my mind I had to go all or nothing, like if I fall then at least I tried to come first and if I do my run right, then I might get a chance to get actually the gold medal.

"It all worked out well and it all came together at this moment.

"When I came off the water and got my score it was like 10 points more than second place.

"At least I was second and there was only one rider after me and when she fell I thought, 'Perhaps I am first'."

Doha provided a spectacular backdrop for the wakeboarding competition ©ANOC World Beach Games
Doha provided a spectacular backdrop for the wakeboarding competition ©ANOC World Beach Games

Alice Virag of Italy scored 66.45 points for the silver medal ahead of Jamie Lopina of the United States, who scored 64.11 for bronze. 

"I woke up pretty excited to come out here and we get to represent our country which is not something you get to do all the time in our sport," Virag said.

"It is a great opportunity to have a smile on your face all day."

Piffaretti won the gold medal in the men’s event after a close competition.

He scored 28.53 points for execution, 29.06 for intensity and 28.64 for composition, adding up to a total of 86.22.

"I am super-stoked I made it out here to Doha," Piffaretti told insidethegames.

"When I was a little kid I competed here in the junior boys division and loved this place ever since.

"I never really thought I'd got the gold medal until the scores or anything official is out."

Piffaretti's scores did prove enough to seal victory but Cory Teunissen of Australia was close behind in second with a total of 84.22 points. 

"It has been incredible, a lot of my events are wakeboard stand alone events, so it has been refreshing [to be at a multi-sport event]," Teunissen said.

"It was pretty awesome.

"I rode past the Aussie crew, they were pretty loud as always."

Massimiliano Piffaretti of Italy claimed he was
Massimiliano Piffaretti of Italy claimed he was "super-stoked" to win a gold at the ANOC World Beach Games ©ANOC World Beach Games

Guenther Oka of the US won bronze with 82.67 points.

"This was definitely different," he told insidethegames. 

"Just being here with all these other beach and water sports, they are such unique sports and we are all joined together on a very similar platform.

"It brings the athletes together, it is like a closer community, we all get to experience each other's activities and it just draws us together."