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The Race Within the Race at the World Surfing Games pres by Vans

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The 2019 ISA World Surfing Games presented by Vans is closing in on the business end of the event and by the end of day 3 today (Monday 9th September), the Oceania Olympic qualifier could be determined.

While a gold medal is the main aim of the World Surfing Games, the race within the race is qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the three New Zealand women are within reach.

The Oceania surfer that finishes the highest ranked and inside the top 30 surfers at this event, will qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.  For Paige Hareb (Tara), the top 30 bracket is one heat progression away.  For Ella Williams (WGM) and Raiha Ensor (Mnt), the top 30 is two heats away.  This comes after a successful day for all three surfers on day two (Sunday 8th September).

The swell built throughout the day at Miyazaki, Japan, finishing in 1.0m – 1.5m waves range with light onshore winds as the typhoon swell began to show.

Hareb took down one of the event’s biggest medal threats in her second round match-up eliminating current WSL world number one Carissa Moore (USA) to the repechage rounds before herself dropping down to the repechage after Round 3.

“It’s always a nice feeling beating a world champ but then I lost the next heat so that’s surfing” reflected Hareb.  “Anyone can win or lose, so I’ll just keep trying my hardest and hopefully the ocean will cooperate with me for the rest of the event” she added.

As a massive day three looms, where Hareb could surf up to four times if she gets on a roll, the oppressive heat of the Japanese summer is front of mind.

“Three heats is pretty hectic, mainly because it’s so hot here so you’re more worried about staying out of the sun and trying to not get dehydrated. Luckily the surf was small so physically I didn’t feel tired at all” Hareb said.

Only one of Hareb’s opponents has been confirmed in USA’s Courtney Conlogue.  She will have to wait for the other repechage rounds to be completed including teammates Ella Williams (WGM) and Raiha Ensor (Mnt) before knowing her next opponents.

Ella Williams rounded out the day with a second place finish to Puerto Rico’s Tia Blanco to keep all three Kiwi surfers in the event.  Having arrived at the event only the day before competition, Williams is happy to have contested three heats and is starting to get a feel for the wave.

“All of us got here the night before the event and we went straight into the first day of competition, so it’s been very full on and mentally and physically challenging” said Williams. We are holding up great and progressing through and the Kiwi support for each other is lifting us all up and bringing us together to make an even stronger team” she added.

“For me every heat is another chance to get my feet in the wax and I think our team will love the bigger swell forecasted. We all thrive off it and are pretty excited to see it build.”

Raiha Ensor also contested her two repechage rounds on day two finishing with a strong win (12.43 points) in her final heat where she advanced alongside South Africa’s Sarah Baum.

Ensor will face off against surfers from Canada, Mexico and Chile in her first heat on day three.

The event is being webcast live.  Japan is three hours behind New Zealand.  Action will take place from approximately 8:00am each morning of the event (11:00am NZT).

The Men’s Division will commence on Tuesday 10th September.

The International Surfing Association (ISA) World Surfing Games presented by Vans is being held at Miyazaki from 7-15 September.  A total of 55 nations and 240 surfers are competing at the event this week.

Please see results for the Kiwi surfers on day two of the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games presented by Vans held Sunday 8th September.

Women’s Round 1
Heat 23
Silvana Lima (BRA), 12.50, 1, Paige Hareb (NZL), 11.0, 2, Taina Angel Izquierdo (INA), 7.5, 3

Women’s Round 2
Heat 12
Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA)12.9, 1, Paige Hareb (NZL), 9.5, 2, Carissa Moore (USA), 7.14, 3, Mirna Boelsma (NED), 5.03, 4

Women’s Round 3
Heat 5
Silvana Lima (BRA)11.63, 1, Vahine Fierro (FRA), 11.24, 2, Johanne Defay (FRA), 11.2, 3, Paige Hareb (NZL), 8.13, 4

Women’s Repechage Round 1
Heat 3
Raiha Ensor (NZL), 10.33, 1, Soojeong Lim (KOR), 5.24, 2, Sanna Horvallius (SWE), 2.8, 3
Heat 6
Ella Williams (NZL), 13.0, 1, Emmy Louise Wilen (SWE), 4.17, 2, Jee Eun Kim (KOR), 2.3, 3

Women’s Repechage Round 2
Heat 3
Raiha Ensor (NZL), 12.43, 1, Sarah Baum (ZAF), 11.5, 2, Ana Mae Alipayo (THA), 6.97, 3, Imane Signate (SEN), 4.13, 4
Heat 6
Tia Blanco (PUR), 13.87, 1, Ella Willimans (NZL), 13.1, 2, Ni Kadek Diah Rahayu Dewi (INA), 3.5, 3, Angelika Timanina (RUS), 1.9, 4

Men’s Division Round 1 (Begins Tuesday)

Heat 10
Billy Stairmand (NZL), Ramon Taliani (ITA), Cristian Calderon (GUA), Jared Gogue (GUM)
Heat 18
Kehu Butler (NZL), Angelo Bonomelli (ITA), Amos Rivera (GUA), Oliver Hartkopp DEN)
Heat 26
Ricardo Christie (NZL), Roberto D’Amico (ITA), Efren Aguilar (GUA), Shane Pier (GUM)

Day 3 Schedule (Monday 9th September)
12:20pm – Raiha Ensor (Women’s Repechage Round 3)
12:40pm – Ella Williams (Women’s Repechage Round 3)
2:20pm – Paige Hareb (Women’s Repechage Round 4)

Further heats for all three surfers subject to progression.

World Surfing Games Schedule
September 8-9 – Women’s Division continues
September 10 – Open Men commence plus Open Women and Aloha Cup
September 11 – Open Women’s Final plus Open Men’s continues
September 12-14 – Open Men’s continues
September 15 Open Men’s Final and Closing Ceremony

Olympic Qualification
The Olympic qualification process starts with the World Surf League (WSL) where ten males and 8 females on the 2019 World Tour will directly qualify for Tokyo 2020.  No more than two athletes per nation can qualify via this process.

The top ranked male and female from the Oceania Region at this year’s event will qualify for Tokyo 2020.  The selections will then need to be ratified by the New Zealand Olympic Committee before being confirmed.

Athletes have a further chance to qualify for the Olympics at the 2020 ISA World Surfing Games where the final four males and six females in each division will be determined by the top placing athletes at that event.

View the full Olympic qualification system.

About International Surfing Association (ISA)
The International Surfing Association (ISA) is recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the World Governing Authority for surfing, bodyboarding, SUP and surfriding.  It was originally founded as the International Surfing Federation in 1964 and has been running world championships since 1964, and the Junior World Championships since 1980.

Further Information
For further information on the New Zealand Surfing Team please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.

High resolution action images of team members will be available to media free of charge upon request.

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