France’s Joan Duru and Australia’s Sally Fitzgibbons were crowned champions at the 2021 World Surfing Games. The event also confirmed the final qualifiers for the sport’s Olympic debut. The five highest ranked eligible men and the seven highest ranked eligible women qualified a spot to compete at the games. The World Surfing Games were held in Surf City, El Salvador from May 29th to June 6th 2021.
The format followed a double elimination tournament with the exception of the final. The two athletes which remained in the main bracket in the men’s shortboard were France’s Jeremy Flores and Japan’s Kanoa Igarashi. They were met with the two repechage finalists France’s Joan Duru whom entered the repechage in the 12th and final round after finishing third in the penultimate round in the main bracket and Japan’s Hiroto Ohhara whom joined the repechage in the 10th round. The event was won by Duru whom scored a 14.94, just ahead of Igarashi (13.74) and Flores (12.94).
The Olympic quotas were awarded to Ohhara, Germany’s Leon Glatzer, Peru’s Lucca Mesinas and his compatriot Miguel Tudela and Chile’s Manuel Selman. As this event holds a higher priority, the continental quotas have been reallocated with the Asian quota going to Indonesia’s Rio Waida and the Pan American quota going to Argentina’s Leandro Usuna.
The women’s shortboard had two Portuguese surfers reach the final without falling to the repechage bracket, Yolanda Sequeira and Teresa Bonvalot. They were joined by Peru’s Daniella Rosas whom entered the repechage in the 10th and final round after finishing third in the main bracket penultimate round. Australia’s Sally Fitzgibbons suffered an early upset in the third round of the main bracket, began the repechage in the fourth round and worked her way up to the finals. In a tough final, Fitzgibbons was able to have a stellar performance to win gold (14.10) ahead of Sequeira (9.20) and Bonvalot (9.04).
The Olympic quotas were awarded to Sequeira, Bonvalot, Rosas, Costa Rica’s Leilani McGonagle, France’s Pauline Ado, Japan’s Mahina Maeda and her compatriot Amuro Tsuzuki. As with the men, some of the continental quotas had to be reallocated, namely the Pan American quota which now goes to Ecuador’s Dominic Barona and the Asian quota. Sadly, no other Asian athlete reached the top 30 at the 2019 World Surfing Games so the quota has been reallocated to the highest ranked eligible athlete, Peru’s Sofia Mulanovich.
This was the final opportunity for athletes to qualify in surfing at the 2020 Olympics. All that remains is for the nations to accept their quotas.