Ferreira competing on the final day of the 2019 World Surfing Games. (Photo by: ISA / Pablo Jimenez)
Brazil had a great performance in the men’s shortboard where two athletes won medals at the 2019 World Surfing Games. The event also doubled as the continental qualifiers for Africa, Asia, Europe and Oceania where the top ranked athlete qualified to the Olympics, provided that they finished within the top 30. The Pan American quotas was decided earlier at the Pan American Games. The World Surfing Games was held in Miyazaki, Japan from September 7th to September 15th 2019.
Over 100 athletes participated in a double elimination bracket where the two winners of each heat advanced to the next round and the losers competed in the Repechage. Overall the final came down to Kolohe Andino of the United States and Brazil’s Gabriel Medina whom advanced through the main bracket and Brazil’s Italo Ferreira and Japan’s Shun Murakami whom advanced through the Repechage round. Despite losing to them in the seventh round Ferreira pulled off an impressive performance to win the gold medal with a score of 17.77, just edging Andino whom finished with 17.06. Medina won the bronze medal with 14.53 points while Murakami finished with the traditional copper medal with a score of 11.74.
The continental quotas were won by Morocco’s Ramzi Boukhaim, Japan’s Shun Murakami, Portugal’s Frederico Morais and New Zealand’s Billy Stairmand.
As a reminder the 2019 World Surf League and 2020 World Surfing Games hold priority over this event, meaning we could see some reallocations. The next opportunity for athletes to qualify to the Olympics will be through the World Surf League.