Mulanovich competing on the final day of competition. (Photo by: ISA / Sean Evans)
Fifteen years after winner her first title, Peru’s Sofia Mulanovich won gold in women’s shortboard 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 is currently being 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 Mulanovich and Brazil’s Silvana Lima whom advanced through the main bracket and Carissa Moore of the United States and South Africa’s Bianca Buitendag whom advanced through the Repechage. In a close final, Mulanovich finished first with a score of 13.80. The silver medals were won by Lima and Buitendag whom finished with scores of 12.77 and 12.64 respectively.
The continental quotas were won by South Africa’s Bianca Buitendag, Japan’s Shino Matsuda, Israel’s Anat Lelior and Australia’s Sally Fitzgibbons
As a reminder the 2019 World Surf League and 2020 World Surfing Games hold priority over this event, meaning we could see some reallocations. This is particularly true for the Oceania quota as it is very likely Australia will qualify the maximum quotas through the World Surf League meaning the spot will likely be given to Ella Williams and New Zealand. The World Surfing Games continues with quotas to be decided for the men’s shortboard on Sunday
Update: Australia has qualified two athletes at the 2019 World Surf League. The continental quota has been reallocated to New Zealand.
Update 2: Japan qualified through the 2021 World Surfing Games. As no eligible Asian nation reached the top 30 at this event, the quota was reallocated to the highest ranked eligible athlete, Mulanovich.