It's been a long wait for Michael Goulian – after nine years since his last career win which took place in Budapest in 2009. He had been flying perfectly all week and knew that it was going to take a cool head and nerves of steel to make it to the top of the podium. He did it in fine style.
The American pilot had to fly first in the Final 4 and set a blistering time of 53.695s, which all the other pilots had to beat. He then had an agonising wait as he watched how the other three pilots would do.
Marin Sonka was second through the Start Gate and flew cleanly and smoothly, but he couldn't come close to catching Goulian. His time of 54.650s was almost a second slower, but it was enough to see him in third.
Goulian's compatriot Kirby Chambliss was third into the track and due to a late pull up found himself behind from the first split time. He couldn't claw any of that time back and finished fourth overall.
The wait to see if he had won intensified for Goulian as he watched the World Champion go last. Yoshihide Muroya had to make a correction in his run as he headed to Gate 4. It didn't slow him down too much, but was enough to see him behind Goulian and put him in second.
Goulian now sits at the top of the leaderboard for the first time in his career and he'll be using all that energy and focus and take it to Cannes.
Abu Dhabi 2018 Final 4 results
Abu Dhabi 2018 results
2018 World Championship standings