Miyazaki, Japan (September 11, 2019) – In a cliff-hanger finish Team USA settled for the bronze medal in the International Surfing Association (ISA) World Surfing Games Aloha Cup event featuring two men and women from each nation getting two waves each in a 45-minute heat. Team Australia won gold with 38.19 points and South Africa silver with 38.11 points. Team USA finished with 35.38 points. Team Japan had 28.10 points.
In a see-saw final, Team USA was in the lead in the final minutes leaving closer Kelly Slater just 13 minutes to catch his two waves. In dying typhoon swell, Slater got two scoring waves but just missed getting back to the box before the horn, incurring a 5-point penalty. Conner Coffin put the most points on the board with a 7.27 and a 6.5. Courtney Conlogue led the women with a 6.17.
World No. 1-ranked Carissa Moore said she loves the stoke and camaraderie of the Aloha Cup event. “You’re surfing with people you normally surf against. It’s so much fun,” Moore said. “It’s just not something we get to do on the World Championship Tour.”
WSG men’s heats will continue tomorrow. Team USA’s men are off to a strong start with all three surfers – Kolohe Andino, Conner Coffin and Kelly Slater - advancing to Round two.
Andino and Slater placed first in their heats and Conner Coffin placed second. Team USA men faced new competitors from Morocco, Ireland, Senegal, Venezuela, Ecuador and Russia – nations not represented in the World Surf League Championship Tour.
Watch all the heats live at www.isasurf.org.The heat draws can be viewed here.
“We’re incredibly proud of Team USA’s performances,” said USA Surfing CEO Greg Cruse. “They are pouring their heart and soul into these World Surf Games. We have some of the highest ranked surfers in the world who are being tested in gnarly conditions. Grinding through multiple rapid-fire heats in Japan’s blazing summer heat presents a challenge pro surfers do not typically face in WSL CT events.”
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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