Tue, 10 September 2019

Bianca Buitendag has secured provisional qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after her third place at the ISA World Surfing Games presented by Vans earlier today, writes Spike.

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WELCOME BACK BIANCA: Beating half the women's CT must mean a lot. Photo ISA / Reed

As the highest placed women surfer from the African Continent (even before her third place), Buitendag is the frontrunner for Tokyo. She made it all the way through five heats of the main event in small clean surf at Miyazaki until the penultimate heat.

Up against an all-South American trio of Sofia Mulanovich (PER), Silvana Lima (BRA), and Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), it was always going to be tough. It ended up a tight affair, with only 1.77 points separating the four surfers in the heat. The winner, Mulanovich, banked 13.87 points, followed by Lima (13.83), Weston-Webb (12.87), and Bianca (12.1).

For the first time in the event, Bianca found herself in a Repercharge heat, but this was Round 10, ostensibly the Repercharge 'final' that would see two going through to the main event final. She had another chance, and she took it with both hands.

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WAY TO GO: When skill, talent and experience meet, good things happen. Photo ISA / Evans

Again, the 25-year-old former Championship Tour (CT) surfer from Vic Bay showed her mettle, this time vanquishing Weston-Webb into third (11.50pts) and Sally Fitzgibbons into fourth (11.03). Carissa Moore (USA) won the heat with 15.30 with Bianca cruising into the final with 14.63.

The surf was a clean 3ft for the final. Mulanovich took the win with 13.8 but the other three fought a battle that was as tight as. Eventually, it was Lima second (12.77), Buitendag third (12.64) and Moore a hair's breadth away in fourth (12.60).

Bianca banks a valuable 730 pts to put SA in fifth place. Sarah Baum earned 380 for reaching Repercharge 6 and Zoe Steyn earned 340 for reaching Repercharge 5.

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BANKING SOME POINTS: Sarah Baum earned 380 pts to the SA team cause. Photo ISA / Evans

Meanwhile, the a whopping 36 heats in the men's opening round got underway today. Jordy Smith won his heat early in the day (Heat 4) and looks comfortable as he cruises into Round 2. Beyrick de Vries had to wait until heat 28 to surf but the lull didn't stop him from becoming the second Saffa to bank a win and a berth in Round 2. Mikey February must wait until the last one, heat 36, tomorrow.

South Africa could do very well in this tournament. The 2019 ISA World Surfing Games presented by Vans is streamed live from September 7-15 on www.isasurf.org starting at approximately 1 am SA Time daily.

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TEAM ZA REPRESENT: Greg Emslie, Mikey February and Isaac February. Photo ISA / Evans

September 11
Aloha Cup (TBC)
Open Men competition continues

September 15
Finals Open Men
Closing Ceremony

The 2019 ISA World Surfing Games presented by Vans is broadcast Sept 7-15 on www.isasurf.org

Social media
Facebook: International Surfing Association
Instagram: @ISAsurfing
Twitter: @ISAsurfing
YouTube: ISAsurfing

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