PETALING JAYA: Water skier Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah put up an admirable performance to finish third in the first round of the tricks event at the Junior Moomba (Under-17) in Melbourne.
The 12-year-old, who rewrote her Asian record with a score of 6,610 at the Moomba LCQ event on Sunday, posted 5,310 points at the Yarra River on Wednesday.
World Championship silver medallist Neilly Ross of Canada, who is just 14-year-old, set the pace with a score of 9,920 while world champion Anna Gay, 16, of the United States was a distant second with 8,070.
Aaliyah, a double SEA Games gold medallist last year, will be hoping to break the 7,000 mark for the first time in the final round today.
Despite a good showing in the tricks, Aaliyah stuttered during the slalom to finish 12th out of 13 skiers.
She took a tumble during her second pass on the 16m rope and only managed to clear three and a half buoys.
Peru’s Alejandra De Osma lead the standings after clearing one buoy on a 11.25m rope followed by Americans Bailey Austin and Abbi Grathwohl.
“I was thrown off my rhythm in my second pass as I was caught off guard with the tight turn into the starting gates,” said Aaliyah.
“It was my mistake but I’m not too worried because it happens to a Moomba slalom rookie like me.”