Miyazaki, Japan (September 12, 2019) – Team USA’s Kelly Slater and Kolohe Andino scorched through day 6 of the Vans ISA World Surfing Games, moving onto round 3 tomorrow.
Kolohe Andino was on fire, catching the first wave right on the opening horn and scoring an 8.5. Two minutes later he backed it up with a 6.8 and finished the heat with a 7.83 to earn the highest heat total of the day. “It was perfectly executed and a prime example of what happens when skill meets luck. He was on every good wave,” said USA Surfing head coach Chris Stone.
Slater dominated small conditions on his twin fin. “It was a masterful harnessing of marginal conditions,” Stone said.
Slater said the ISA World Surfing Games champion title is one that evaded him as an amateur. He placed third in 1986 when the then biannual event was in England. He didn’t make the team in 1988 and placed fifth in 1990. He made the professional World Tour in 1991 and went on to rack up eleven world titles. “We’ll see if I can get a win here. I’ll have to go through the likes of Felipe Toledo, Gabriel Medina, Italo, Kolohe, Conner, Ramzi and Jeremy. Just a lot of good tour guys,” Slater said. “This is a really special event. I didn’t realize how much I missed it but I really do.”
Teammate Conner Coffin is battling back into contention. After finishing third in his round two heat, he moved onto the repechage rounds. He handily won repechage two and faces repechage three tomorrow morning.
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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