Mon, 16 September 2019

South Africa finished fifth, bagged two medals and an Olympics qualification at the ISA World Surfing Games presented by Vans that ended at Myazaki in Japan yesterday.

RSA Aloha_Cup_Silver_Closing_Ceremony_Ben_Reed-1

SILVER LINING: Bianca accepts the silver medal Team SA won in the Aloha Cup. Photo WSL / Reed

Brazil won the team Gold medals for the first time in 19 years, with Italo Ferreira capturing gold in the Men's. Gabriel Medina took Bronze. Silvana Lima clinched silver in the Women's. The USA, led by Dino Andino’s silver in the Men’s and Carissa Moore’s copper in the Women, finished runners-up, followed by hosts and defending champions Japan, with Peru elevated to fourth by Sofia Mulanovich's gold.

Ferreira nearly missed his first heat of the event after getting his passport stolen only days before leaving for Japan. Ferreira was able to get a passport, fly to Miyazaki, and make it to his first heat of the event with just eight minutes remaining, where he was still able to take first place.

The event attracted a record 55 nations and 240 surfers, including current and former world champions vying for titles, and some for a place in surfing’s debut on the 2020 Olympic stage.

Bianca Buitendag stood out for South Africa. She added a bronze medal to her bronze and copper of 2017 and 2018. She contributed 730 points to Team SA's 2,485, and was integral to their silver medal in the Aloha Cup. She also earned qualification for the Olympics (as the top woman from Africa).


SHOW OF HANDS: Fans in Japan hail Italo Ferreira's gold medal performance. Photo WSL / Jimenez

The 25-year-old from Victoria Bay in the Southern Cape was supported by Australia based former Durbanite Sarah Baum (21st overall), and East Londoner Zoe Steyn, 15, who ended her second ISA WSG in 29th place among 103 women.

Michael February (Kommetjie) fared best of the South African Men with his 22nd place finish, while Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga) and Jordy Smith (Durban) placed equal 31st out of the 137 Men.

In the ISA Aloha Cup, a form of relay surfing where a squad of two men and two women each have to ride two waves before returning to the beach to ‘tag’ the next teammate, with all eight rides counting and having to be completed within a prescribed time limit, the South African squad of Smith, February, Buitendag and Baum comfortably won their semi-final against Japan, Peru and Argentina.


ROOF WETTING: Gabriel Medina took the bronze medal to give Brazil a big win. Photo WSL / Reed

Up against Japan, USA and Australia in the final, the South Africans finished just 0.08 of a point behind the surfers from Down Under to clinch the Silver medal ahead of USA and the host nation. South Africa’s finish among the top eight ranked nations in Myazaki has earned the team an invitation to the 2020 Aloha Cup at next year’s ISA WSG. South Africa finished fourth overall at last year’s ISA WSG.

The team was supported by the Isaac February (Cape Town, Manager) and multiple South African champion and seasoned international competitor Greg Emslie (East London, Coach).

More at www.isasurf.org

Team Ranking (top 10)
Gold - Brazil
Silver - USA
Bronze - Japan
Copper - Peru
5 - South Africa
6 - Australia
7 - New Zealand
8 - Costa Rica
9 - Spain
10 – Canada

Open Men
Gold - Italo Ferreira (BRA)
Silver - Kolohe Andino (USA)
Bronze - Gabriel Medina (BRA)
Copper - Shun Murakami (JPN)
22: Michal February (Kommetjie)
31: Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga)
31: Jordy Smith (Durban)

Open Women
Gold - Sofia Mulanovich (PER)
Silver - Silvana Lima (BRA)
Bronze - Bianca Buitendag (RSA)
Copper - Carissa Moore (USA)
21: Sarah Baum (Durban)
29: Zoe Steyn (East London)

ISA Aloha Cup
Gold - Australia
Silver - South Africa
Bronze - USA
Copper - Japan

Provisional Tokyo 2020 Qualification
Shun Murakami (JPN)
Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR)
Billy Stairmand (NZL)
Frederico Morais (POR)

Shino Matsuda (JPN)
Anat Lelior (ISR)
Bianca Buitendag (RSA)
Ella Williams (NZL)

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