Five Olympic Qualifiers Confirmed on Action Packed Day 7 of the 2024 ISA World Surfing Games

March 1st, 2024

Four women’s Olympic slots earned by Anat Lelior (ISR), Camilla Kemp (GER), Janire Gonzalez-Extabarri (ESP) and Siqi Yang (CHN)

Alonso Correa (PER) earns first men’s Paris 2024 Olympic Games slot of the event

Buzzer-beater for Tim Elter (GER) delivers elation and devastation

Yago Dora (BRA) lands highest number of the event, Siqi Yang (CHN) tops day’s scores for the women

Arecibo, Puerto Rico – March 1, 2024

A second big day of Olympic qualification stories took place on day seven of the 2024 ISA World Surfing Games (WSG). The two-to-three feet of surf on offer at the lefts of Rastrial may have had to deal with strong trade winds, but still provided the canvas for the world’s best surfers to chase their dreams.

Five surfers saw their dreams realized as they earned qualification into the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Alonso Correa (PER) earned the first of six individual men’s slots available in Puerto Rico, while an additional four women also qualified, meaning that all eight individual women’s slots have now been assigned.

Ten men remain in contention for the further five men’s slots. Eight are in the repechage, including Tokyo 2020 Olympians Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) and Rio Waida (INA). France is already guaranteed one of the five individual slots between the two eligible Frenchman still in the Main Round, Joan Duru and Marco Mignot. Only the highest ranking of the two will qualify since France has already one surfer qualified (Kauli Vaast).

Brazil took the overall lead in team rankings, slightly ahead of France. Spain now sit in third overall, but lead the women’s team rankings. Meanwhile, Brazil and France are locked for equal first in the men’s rankings. With all three French men making up half of the six surfers remaining in the Main Round, it will be a fight to the end to claim the extra Olympic slot available for the highest ranked men’s team.

Team China's Siqi Yang with ISA President Fernando Aguerre / Photo: Pablo Franco

A further four women gained tickets to Paris 2024 today, joining the four who qualified yesterday. As the only eligible surfers to progress through Repechage Round 6, Tokyo 2020 Olympian Anat Lelior (ISR), Camilla Kemp (GER), Janire Gonzalez-Extabarri (ESP) and Siqi Yang (CHN) confirmed their qualification for the Olympic Games.

Since first appearing in the WSG in 2022, Yang’s surfing and heat strategy has notably improved year-on-year. Today, her power and precision landed her the highest single wave score of the day for the women, a 7.50, and secured the 14-year-old as one of the 24 women to take on Teahupo’o in the Olympic Games.

“The Olympic dream is my dream, to qualify for the Olympics,” Yang said. “I’m super happy, super excited to accomplish this today. Thanks to my country for supporting me to be here, and to my coach for bringing me to this level. I’m so happy, I’ve been training so hard for this.”

An early exit in the 2023 WSG saw Camilla Kemp (GER) on the sidelines while team members Noah Klapp (GER) and Rachel Presti (GER) neared qualification. This year, the scenario was reversed and Kemp now finds herself as the first German woman to qualify for the Olympics in Surfing.

“I knew somehow my time would come,” Kemp said. “We worked so hard for this and we sacrificed so much. It’s all about believing and keep going and keep working hard. We have such a hard working, strong team.”

Alonso Correa, Team Peru / Photo: Pablo Jimenez

Alonso Correa (PER) earns first men’s Paris 2024 Olympic Games slot of the event

A unique scenario played out when Marco Mignot (FRA) went to the air late in his heat against Cody Young (CAN), Kehu Butler (NZL) and Alonso Correa (PER). Correa was in the lead, Young in second. The 7.23 Mignot earned for landing a backhand air reverse was enough to put him in first, leaving Correa in second with two minutes remaining. The 26-year-old Peruvian knew he had to make the heat, but wasn’t aware that he could immediately secure qualification if Mignot progressed with him. The pair held on, Mignot furthering his dreams and Correa realizing them, his result guaranteeing an Olympic slot.

“I didn’t know that Marco had to make it through to secure my spot, but I’m super-happy that it went that way,” Correa said. “It’s pretty crazy, honestly, I’ve been competing in this for years. It’s so hard to be consistent for so long. I’m proud of my performance and to be in this position. I’m so excited to go to Tahiti. It’s been like a dream of mine to surf that wave. I’ve been at Pipeline many years, but I’ve never been to Tahiti, so I’m super excited to go to a new place, similar style of wave, dangerous, big and heavy, but it’s going to be fun.”

Tim Elter, Team Germany / Photo: Pablo Jinemez

Buzzer-beater for Tim Elter (GER) provides elation and devastation

A priority error once again saw Olympic dreams dashed when Frederico Morais (POR) allowed Tim Elter (GER) to catch a wave in the final seconds, giving Elter the opportunity to power through the best wave of his heat, earn a 5.53, eliminate Morais and progress alongside Filipe Toledo (BRA) into Repechage Round 7. The devastation for Morais was mirrored by absolute elation from Elter.

“I had a tough heat, some tough names on paper,” Elter said. “I felt like I did a lot of mistakes in the beginning, especially tactical mistakes and then in the end Frederico was all over me because he was in second, I was in third, and he let me go on a right. It wasn’t too big of a wave, but I guess I just surfed it to the max. I surfed my brains out on that one. I got the score when I was on land and it was just amazing. Also, when I finished the wave the whole crowd erupted, I was like wow, this might have been it.”

Yago Dora, Team Brazil / Photo: Jersson Barboza

Yago Dora lands near-perfect score, carries Team Brazil forward

All three Brazilian men, Filipe ToledoGabriel Medina, and Yago Dora, continued to progress, once again with some of the highest numbers of the day. Today, it was Dora who took top honors, posting the highest single wave score of the event so far, a 9.50. Launching straight into the trade winds on the left of Rastrial, Dora landed a perfectly-executed frontside air reverse to earn the near-perfect score.

“I paddled out a bit late for my heat actually,” Dora said. “There was already only one minute left in the heat prior, so I had to paddle out pretty fast and as soon as I got to the lineup our starting sounded and that wave just came straight away. I’m glad we have a second chance in the repechage. I had a hard heat yesterday, I couldn’t find a good rhythm, but today’s a new day and I’m happy with the opportunity. I know I have to surf more heats, but I’m excited about it. I like surfing a lot, so let’s do it.”

Competition will resume tomorrow at 8:30am AST with men’s Repechage Round 8.

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