Team USA’s Men Off to a Strong Start - Carissa Moore Wins ISA World Surfing Games 4th-Place Copper Medal After Grueling Repechage
Miyazaki, Japan (September 10, 2019) – Team USA’s Carissa Moore won the fourth-place copper medal, after battling through nine grueling repechage rounds at the Vans International Surfing Association (ISA) World Surfing Games. Moore congratulated gold medalist Sofia Mulanovich of Peru. “I’ve looked up to you since I was a grom and you continue to inspire,” Moore said. Brazil’s Silvana Lima won silver, South Africa’s Bianca Buitendag won bronze.
WSG men’s heats started immediately following the women’s award ceremony to take advantage of leftover typhoon swell. 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.
Conner Coffin was the first American surfer to paddle out, putting on a clinic for finding opportunity in small waves. Eleven-time world champion Kelly Slater was next up tearing up the glassy, waist-high wave faces and drawing crowds that couldn’t wait to interact with the GOAT. Kolohe Andino finished off the day, putting on an absolute show opening with an air reverse and following up with a series of rail gouges, lip smashes and 360's. The team bus had to wait for Andino to finish signing autographs and posing in fan selfies.
Fellow CT surfers Caroline Marks and Courtney Conlogue scored key points for Team USA, placing 9thand 10thin the world. The U.S. is currently in third place behind first-place Brazil and second-place Peru.
The WSG’s Aloha Cup event featuring eight nation’s teams comprised of two men and two women will run tomorrow September 11 at 8:00 am local Japan time, 5:10 pm Pacific Time. The teams competing are based on the top seven ranked teams in attendance from last year's 2018 ISA WSG, as well as host nation Japan.
Team USA surfers will compete in the tag team event in the following order: Courtney Conlogue, Conner Coffin, Carissa Moore and Kelly Slater
Nation matchups are as follows:
Semi 1: Japan, Russia, Peru, Argentina (4:10 pm Pacific Time)
Semi 2: Australia, USA, France, Spain (5:10 pm Pacific Time)
The main round two heats with Kelly Slater, Conner Coffin and Kolohe Andino will take place September 12. 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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