Three men and women remain in contention in each discipline
Peru’s Lucca Mesinas and Daniella Rosas advance to Shortboard Gold Medal matches with Tokyo 2020 qualification at stake
Longboard: Peru’s Benoit ‘Piccolo’ Clemente and Brazil’s Chloe Calmon await opponents in Gold match
SUP Surfing: Colombia’s Gomez siblings go for Gold
The penultimate day of Surfing competition at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games has set the stage for a historic final day that will crown the first-ever Gold Medalists in Shortboard, Longboard and SUP Surfing.
Two qualification slots for Surfing’s Olympic debut in Tokyo 2020 are at stake for the winners of the Shortboard Finals. The slots are awarded to the top eligible man and woman, but not confirmed until after the 2020 ISA World Surfing Games.
The host nation Peru has already placed an athlete in four of the six Gold Medal matches on Sunday.
Lucca Mesinas and Daniella Rosas have qualified for the Shortboard Finals, while the current ISA Longboard World Champion Benoit ‘Piccolo’ Clemente has qualified for the Men’s Longboard Final and Peru’s Vania Torres is placed in the Women’s SUP Surfing Final.
“It’s a dream,” said Rosas. “We’ve all come here to qualify for Tokyo.
“It’s going to be a tough final. I am going to give it my all tomorrow and see what happens.”
The losers of Bronze Medal matches will earn Bronze, while the winner will advance to the Gold Medal match.
The Women’s Shortboard Bronze Medal match features Argentina’s Ornella Pellizzari and Ecuador’s Dominic Barona, from which the winner will face Rosas for Gold.
Mesinas fired up the capacity crowd at Punta Rocas on Saturday with the highest heat total among all divisions. Mesinas’ 17.47 heat total defeated El Salvador’s Bryan Perez, who will now face off against Argentina’s Leandro Usuna in the Bronze Medal match for a shot at Gold.
Regardless of the result, the guaranteed medal for Perez will be the first for El Salvador in the entire 2019 edition of the Pan American Games.
Brazil’s two-time ISA medalist, Chloe Calmon, continued her win streak in the event and advanced to the Women’s Longboard Final.
Calmon awaits the winner of the Bronze Medal match up between Peru’s Maria Fernanda Reyes and Canada’s Mathea Dempfle-Olin.
The Men’s Longboard Bronze match will be between USA’s Cole Robbins and Uruguay’s Julian Schweizer, as the Peruvian Clemente awaits in the Final.
Colombia’s brother-sister duo of Giorgio and Izzi Gomez have both made it to the final day of competition for a chance to earn Gold Medals.
Giorgio, Izzi’s older brother, has placed in the Men’s SUP Surfing Gold Medal match where he will face the winner of the Bronze Medal match featuring Peru’s Tamil Martino and USA’s Daniel Hughes.
Hughes surprised the reigning, two-time ISA SUP Surfing World Champion Luiz Diniz (BRA) in the morning by defeating him in the Repechage Round, the second time that Hughes got the better of Diniz in the Games.
Izzi Gomez will go up against Brazil’s past ISA World Champion Nicole Pacelli in the Bronze Medal match where the winner will face Peru’s Torres in the Final.
One of the most emotional moments of the day came in the Men’s Shortboard Division when Argentine teammates Leandro Usuna and Santiago Muniz faced off in the elimination Repechage Round. Both are two-time ISA World Surfing Games Champions and only one could advance to keep their dream of qualifying for Tokyo 2020 alive.
In an unusual heat where no waves were ridden until three minutes remained despite ample opportunities, Usuna’s score of 10.5 bested Muñiz’s 4.73, allowing Usuna a chance to go for Gold on the final day of competition.
An emotional Usuna gave his entire team a hug on the beach following the heat.
“It’s amazing to advance,” said Usuna. “Santiago is another two-time World Champion from Argentina and a great competitor.
“I’ve surf against him so many times and we are great friends.”
ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:
“After crowning historic SUP Racing Gold Medalists on Friday, we will continue to write in the history books of the sport and crown six more Gold Medalists on Sunday.
“This landmark moment will be forever etched in the rich history of our sport and will certainly serve as a platform to achieve inclusion of surfing disciplines in more Olympic Movement events in the future.
“I wish the best of luck to the competitors tomorrow, especially those who are surfing for their hopes of becoming Olympians in Tokyo 2020.”
The Lima 2019 Pan Am Games are being broadcast live July 30 – August 4. To find out where and when you can watch, check the listing with the respective Lima 2019 broadcast rightsholder in your country.
The competition will award medals in Longboard, Shortboard and SUP Surfing on Sunday.
The International Surfing Association (ISA), founded in 1964, is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing. The ISA governs and defines Surfing as Shortboard, Longboard & Bodyboarding, StandUp Paddle (SUP) Racing and Surfing, Bodysurfing, Wakesurfing, and all other wave riding activities on any type of waves, and on flat water using wave riding equipment. The ISA crowned its first Men's and Women's World Champions in 1964. It crowned the first Big Wave World Champion in 1965; World Junior Champion in 1980; World Kneeboard Champions in 1982; World Longboard Surfing and World Bodyboard Champions in 1988; World Tandem Surfing Champions in 2006; World Masters Champions in 2007; and World StandUp Paddle (SUP, both surfing and racing) and Paddleboard Champions in 2012.
ISA membership includes the surfing National Federations of 106 countries on five continents. The ISA is presided over by Fernando Aguerre (ARG). The Executive Committee includes four Vice-Presidents Karín Sierralta (PER), Kirsty Coventry (ZIM), Casper Steinfath (DEN) and Barbara Kendall (NZL), Athletes' Commission Chair Justine Dupont (FRA), Regular Members Atsushi Sakai (JPN) and Jean Luc Arassus (FRA) and ISA Executive Director Robert Fasulo as Ex-officio Member.
Its headquarters are located in La Jolla, California (USA).
For more information, please visit www.isasurf.org