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Silver Medal For Hareb, New Zealand Ninth Overall

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Taranaki surfer Paige Hareb has stormed her way to a silver medal at the 2018 UR ISA World Surfing Games completed in Japan yesterday (Saturday 22nd September).  The result was a major boost for the New Zealand Team who finished inside the top ten nations at ninth.

Hareb was in stellar form on the final day of the event winning her semifinal before surfing to a 14.66 point heat total in the final finishing second to Australia’s Sally Fitzgibbons in small 1.0m waves at Tahara Beach, Japan.

“Out of about one hundred women there’s only two that make the main final without having to have a second chance and that ended up being Sally and I which was also a small goal of mine. To beat Sally in the semi I knew I had a good chance of winning and I felt like my overall performance including the final was pretty solid, I felt good but Sally just had an absolute ripper and there wasn’t much I could do about it” said Hareb.

“I knew Sally was going to be my main competition in the final and that I needed a good start but also a couple of solid scores to beat someone like Sally who’s an amazing contest machine. The plan semi worked at the start but she just ended up finding the slightly better waves” she added.

“Every contest I’m in it to win it and especially this one as I have got a silver medal at the ISA World Games before in Peru so it would have been nice to go one better and I was pretty fired up to try and do that”.

Japan claimed the overall team title with Australia in second and USA in third.  Hareb’s silver medal helped New Zealand improve five places on their 2017 result.

“I’m actually happy about our team finishing ninth but at the same time just missing out on top 8, which we would of got if I had won, means that we miss out on the Aloha Cup team challenge next year and one other invitational contest I think so we didn’t quite cut the mustard but it’s still an amazing result for New Zealand for maybe not sending our very best team, lack of funding and no coaches or managers. I’m very proud of the team that went and how they performed on the world stage.”

The ISA UR World Surfing Games was contested over seven days at Tahara Beach with over 200 athletes from 42 nations in attendance.

Please see below for final results from 2018 UR ISA World Surfing Games held at Tahara Beach, Japan (Saturday 22nd September).

Team Points
1 Japan, 3368
2 Australia, 3093
3 USA, 3000
4 South Africa, 2703
5 Peru, 2605
6 France, 2598
7 Spain, 2528
8 Argentina, 2340
9 New Zealand, 2275
10 Canada, 2248

Women’s Semifinal
Paige Hareb, NZL, 15, 1, Sally Fitzgibbons, AUS, 13.8, 2, Holly Wawn, AUS, 13.33, 3, Bianca Buitendag, RSA, 7.83, 4

Women’s Final
Sally Fitzgibbons, AUS, 18.64, 1, Paige Hareb, NZL, 14.66, 2, Bianca Buitendag, RSA, 12.3, 3, Summer Macedo, USA, 11.4, 4

New Zealand Results

Paige Hareb – 2nd
Elin Tawharu – 22nd
Raiha Ensor – 25th

Billy Stairmand – 25th
Zen Wallis – 65th
Levi Stewart – 65th


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.

2018 marks the lead-in to Olympic qualification via the International Surfing Association (ISA) World Surfing Games.  A good team result in 2018 will set up nations with a good seed for their first qualification attempt at the 2019 World Surfing Games.  The top ranked male and female from the Oceania Region at the 2019 event will qualify for Tokyo 2020.

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.  The selections will then need to be ratified by the New Zealand Olympic Committee before being confirmed.

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.

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