Women’s Grand Final features four Olympians
To crown the first medalists of the day, the Women’s Grand Final took to the water featuring 4 surfers who had all already confirmed their slots in Tokyo 2020.
Australia’s Sally Fitzgibbons, who qualified via the 2019 WSL Championship Tour, squared off against three surfers who had earned their qualification on Saturday through the 2021 World Surfing Games: Portugal’s Yolanda Sequeira, Portugal’s Teresa Bonvalot, and Peru’s Daniella Rosas.
Fitzgibbons’ experience proved valuable against three surfers who had never earned a World Surfing Games medal before. Her heat total of 14.10 led her to the Gold ahead of Silver Medal Sequeira, Bronze Medal Bonvalot, and Copper Medal Rosas.
Japanese and French duos battle in Men’s Grand Final
The Men’s Grand Final featured some of surfing’s top talent and provided a preview for the surfing to come at Tokyo 2020.
France’s Duru and Flores faced Japan’s Kanoa Igarashi and Ohhara in a heat that would determine not only the Men’s Medalists, but also the overall team ranking.
Duru utilized a strategy of patience, only catching three waves in the entire Final. However, those three waves were all he needed to post a 14.94 heat total and take a lead that he would not relinquish.
Japan’s Igarashi gave Duru a run for his money with high performance maneuvers, but it proved not enough, earning him the Silver Medal to match his 2018 World Surfing Games result.
Flores’ Bronze Medal finish and Duru’s Gold Medal were enough to push Team France to the overall team Gold, while Ohhara earned the Copper.
Germany’s Leon Glatzer lets loose to earn highest heat total of entire event
After learning that he had earned his slot for Tokyo 2020 on Saturday, Germany’s Leon Glatzer surfed like an Olympian and posted the highest heat total of the event. Glatzer’s signature aerials earned a near-perfect 18.46 heat total, higher than any other total in the event between the men or women.
While Glatzer didn’t advance through to the Final at the end of the day, he spoke about the experience of becoming an Olympian.
“Yesterday was one of the biggest days in my life,” said Glatzer. “There was so much work put into it for the last three years. It’s been an emotional roller coaster waking up every day and feeling the Olympics at my doorstep.
“I don’t know what happened to me, but last night I woke up in pain and vomiting. I decided to surf today anyway. I wanted to have fun and I had one of the most fun heats of my life, just being free and surfing.”
ISA recognizes Olympians at Closing Ceremony
At the Closing Ceremony, the ISA brought all Olympians in attendance to the stage to recognize their historic achievements in becoming part of the first wave of Olympic surfers.
ISA President Fernando Aguerre presented each qualifier with a commemorative trophy featuring a unique Tokyo 2020 surfboard fin to honor their achievements.
Additionally, Aguerre recognized the strong commitment and support of the government of El Salvador to host this historic edition of the event by providing Tourism Minister Morena Valdez with a plaque of recognition and the ‘Sands of the World’ from the Opening Ceremony, so the event’s legacy remains in El Salvador.