five tickets to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games they delivered in the ISA World Surfing Games 2023 as the competition approached the deciding rounds.
South Africa jordy smith and sarah baum ranked as the highest ranked male and female athletes from Africa, while those from New Zealand billy ladder and saffi vette took the places of Oceania. from Japan shino matsuda won the women’s quota for Asia.
Smith, Baum, Vette and Matsuda will make their Olympic debut when the surfing competition takes place in Teahupo’o, Tahiti next year. Stairmand previously competed at Tokyo 2020.
TO a total of eight quotas will be assigned based on the results of the 2023 ISA World Surfing Games, divided among athletes from four continents – Africa, Asia, Europe and Oceania.
Olympics.com captured the moment the first five athletes received their tickets to Paris 2024 and was also on hand for the dramatic repechage action in Surf City El Salvador.
Watch the live stream of the upcoming qualifiers and get the first reactions from the athletes at Olympics.com.
To Tahiti: South Africa, New Zealand, Japan
Smith and Baum were the first to receive their tickets to the 2023 ISA World Surfing Games.
Smith previously qualified for Tokyo 2020 but he was injured a month before the Games and was unable to compete, while Baum missed qualifying and saw his childhood training partner. Bianca Buitendag take the money instead.
“I grew up surfing with Bianca. We’re always neck-and-neck at every event and back then, we always thought she and I would be in it on the Championship Tour and maybe the Olympics at the same time,” Baum told Olympics.com. “I still feel like I deserve it.”
Billy Stairmand won the men’s Oceania spot, beating the World Championship Tour surfers, ethan ewing and ryan callinan.
“Every time I look at it, it’s pretty surreal. I qualified for Tokyo four years ago and it was pretty crazy and this is the exact same feeling,” he told Olympics.com while holding up his ticket. “I’ve never been to Tahiti before so I’m really looking forward to that and to take my surfing to another level and hopefully ride some big waves.”
The fight for world titles continues
As celebrations erupted between teams from South Africa, Japan and New Zealand, the battle for the remaining three berths and world titles was heating up in El Salvador.
Conditions got tricky on the 6th when the wind picked up, making the waves rougher and giving the advantage to surfers with the best aerial skills.
Australia sally fitzgibbons she was among those who battled the elements while advancing to the women’s fifth round.
“There’s a lot of swell, it’s been pumping every day,” Fitzgibbons told Olympics.com. “It’s a bit windy today so you have to be very stable not to catch any rails, but it’s the ultimate pressure test. They are all such great surfers and just doing the 20 minute ride is so exciting and adrenaline pumping.”
Other surfers fared worse against the rising swell with several big names dropping out of the competition, including from Brazil. Philip ToledoUSA John John FlorenceItaly leonardo fioravantiand France Maxime Huscenot.
Earlier in the day Olympic champion carissa moore and the number 4 in the world carolina brands he withdrew from the competition before his heats.
Girls Just Want To Have Fun: Young Talent Puts On A Show
As veteran surfers dropped out of the competition, the rising stars of the 2023 ISA World Surfing Games stepped up to turn heads.
dutch teenager tiara van der huls has been one of the toughest competitors at the World Surfing Games so far. Not that you’d guess by watching her go into the water.
The 16-year-old was singing Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” when her fourth-round series began.
“I’m having so much fun. I’m just singing songs and trying to stay calm and keep up,” van der Huls told Olympics.com after winning the second straight series from him. “I sing songs in the water because otherwise I get nervous, and it reminds me that surfing, being out there, you’re competing against yourself, without really comparing yourself to other surfers.”
Van der Huls will face Fitzgibbons and France Vahine Fierro in the next round, which are also some of the surfers he grew up admiring.
“I look up to almost everyone who is still in the main round. It’s really special. I don’t really know what’s going on at the moment and I’m trying to go set by set and have fun in each set,” van der Huls said. “It doesn’t really matter if I’m hot. It will be awesome if I do it, but I just want to show some good waves.”
The other youngsters set to join the Dutch teenager in the fourth round include the world junior champion from Germany. raquel presti and from nicaragua candelaria resanowho is known for her big wave talent.
It caught our attention: Carlos Muñoz dislocates his shoulder, wins the tie
It was clear something was wrong when Costa Rica carlos munoz he emerged from the foam after landing a massive air in the men’s repechage round.
The surfer was clutching his dislocated right shoulder, but undaunted, he quickly reattached it while still riding his surfboard.
Meters from shore, Muñoz then decided to continue the competition and caught another wave with seconds before the horn went off to end the heat with a winning total.
Looking ahead: Three tickets left
The competition will advance to the quarterfinal stage with two main round ties for men and women, as well as three rounds of repechage.
Brazil has a threatening presence with gabriel medina and Tatiana Weston Webb in the main rounds and world number 2 joao chianca fighting their way from the playoffs. Australia and Mexico they also have strong contenders in the lineup.
The three final installments of Paris 2024 could also be decided on the 7th.
from Japan Kanoa Igarashi and Reo Inabaas well as Indonesian waida river they are still fighting for the men’s place for Asia.
Israel uri uziel is in a strong position to clinch the men’s European spot, but there are four more surfers left in contention. The picture is less clear for the European women with six athletes who can still take the place.