First-ever Men’s and Women’s Olympic Champions to be crowned July 27
USA’s Kolohe Andino bests teammate John John Florence
Bianca Buitendag (RSA) takes down 7-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
USA’s 19-year-old phenom Caroline Marks earns day-high heat total
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The debut Olympic Surfing competition is on the cusp of history, set to crown the first-ever Olympic Champions on July 27.
8 women and 8 men remain in the running for medals, with the finals scheduled to run Tuesday at Tsurigasaki beach.
Among the Gold Medal contenders are proven stars and determined underdogs looking to make their nations proud. Brazil’s Gabriel Medina and Italo Ferreira, USA’s Carissa Moore, and Australia’s Sally Fitzgibbons and Owen Wright are among the headliners, while surfers such as Portugal’s Yolanda Hopkins and Peru’s Lucca Mesinas will look to knock off the top names and burst into the global spotlight.
Competition will continue Tuesday with the Men’s and Women’s Quarterfinals, Semifinals, Bronze Match and Gold Match.
An approaching tropical storm brought a welcomed increase in wave heights to the competition, but it was also bundled with difficult wind conditions that made wave selection crucial for the Olympians left in the draw. Eight heats each of Men’s and Women’s Round 3 ran to decide the quarterfinalists.
Team USA, Japan, and Brazil all showed well-balanced performances, each with three surfers advancing into the Quarterfinals.
The host nation’s hope of a Surfing medal lies on the backs of Kanoa Igarashi and Hiroto Ohhara on the men’s side, and Amuro Tsuzuki for the women.
USA’s Kolohe Andino and Caroline Marks headlined the day with some of the highest heat totals. Marks’ total of 15.33 was the highest among all surfers on day 2, while Andino’s 14.83 was the second highest for the men.
The highest men’s total was earned by Australia’s Wright, scoring a 15-point total in the final heat of the day to advance to the Quarterfinals where he will next face Peru’s Mesinas.
Top seeded surfers such as Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Tatiana Weston-Webb, and Julian Wilson (AUS) bowed out of the event, ending their dreams of winning Olympic Gold.