,Miyazaki, Japan (September 13, 2019) – The qualifying rounds at day seven of the ISA World Surfing Games featured superheats of the world’s greatest surfers, which made victories that much sweeter. Team USA’s Kolohe Andino and Kelly Slater took turns beating Brazil’s Gabriel Medina. World Surf League (WSL) No. 3 ranked Kolohe Andino took down No. 1- ranked Felipe Toledo in round five.
Conner Coffin surfed his repechage rounds with his signature style and power in small, fickle morning conditions but came up short in round four. He spent the rest of the afternoon helping coaches read wave conditions, supporting his teammates, and signing autographs.
All three Team USA men (Slater, Andino and Conner Coffin) surfed multiple rapid-fire heats - conditions they don’t normally face on the WSL Championship Tour.
USA Surfing head coach Chris Stone said Slater’s “will to win and ability to turn it on in all conditions is unmatched.” Slater started off the day with a combination air reverse and above the lip slash, continuing to slay building swell on his twin fin. In the final minutes of the heat with Gabriel Medina, Slater sent up another air reverse followed by a lip-destroying turn to score an 8.33 and move into first place.
Semifinals run tomorrow with Kolohe Andino, Kelly Slater and Portugal’s Frederico Morais in the same heat. Semifinal heat two is a showdown among Italo Ferreira, Ramzi Boukhiam, and Gabriel Medina.
After today, the United States moved up to second place behind Team Brazil. Host country Japan is in third. South Africa slipped to fourth with Team Canada not far behind.
Watch all the heats live at www.isasurf.org.The heat draws can be viewed here.
This week’s World Surfing Games in Miyazaki, Japan mark the first time the WSG is an Olympic qualifier for the more than 40 countries not represented in the World Surf League (WSL).
The team’s selection is based on the surfers’ rankings following the World Surf League’s fourth event in Margaret River. The top three ranked surfers for each country are invited to surf as part of eligibility requirement to qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. John John Florence’s ACL injury opened the door for 11-time world champion Kelly Slater to join the team.
According to the Olympic qualification rules, the top 10 eligible men and eight women, maximum two per country, at the end of the 2019 WSL CT season, will earn qualification slots for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. This end-of-year ranking will also be used to determine who is nominated to be members of their national surfing teams at the 2020 WSG. The 2019 WSG is in Japan, but the 2020 WSG location is to be determined. With four WSL events remaining for the women and five for the men, Olympic qualification is adding a new element of excitement to the WSL season.
Contact: becky (at) usasurfing (dot) org
USA Surfing is the National Governing Body for surfing in the United States, recognized by the International Surfing Association (ISA) and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC). USA Surfing’s mission is to promote and grow the sport of surfing and support United States athletes of all backgrounds to achieve sustained competitive excellence in Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American and Parapan American competition. USA Surfing will oversee and support America’s Olympic team as surfing makes its debut in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and surfing and stand-up paddleboarding athletes compete in the 2019 Pan American Games.
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