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Stairmand Steers Kiwis to Seventh with an Eighth-Place Finish

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Billy Stairmand secured New Zealand’s best-ever result of eighth at the ISA World Surfing Games presented by Vans completed in Japan today (Sunday 15th September).  The excellent result helped the New Zealand Team to finish seventh overall.

Stairmand’s performance and the team result round out a big week of surfing for New Zealand with two surfers provisionally qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The seventh-place finish also ensures New Zealand qualify for the 2020 Aloha Cup which is contested against the top eight nations at the World Surfing Games.

“It’s been a crazy week. It is all kind of a blur, surfing a lot of heats everyday” said Stairmand as he was packing and heading to the airport.

“But now it’s all starting to sink in, sitting down and saying that I can become an Olympian is such a crazy feeling. And also getting the best result ever for a Kiwi and holding down the fort for the team to get seventh is pretty cool also” added Stairmand whose next event starts in the Azores Islands on Tuesday.

Stairmand automatically advanced out of his first match up today after Brazilian Filipe Toledo pulled out due to injury.  In his second match up, Stairmand pushed right through the heat with a fall on his last wave the difference between moving through to the top six and a chance at qualifying for the final.

“I’m kicking myself that I didn’t land that floater, it was a big section but I knew I had to give it my all and I did, I gave it everything I had but that heat just wasn’t meant to be. But I’m so proud of myself and my achievements this week. It’s been so fun” Stairmand said.

Stairmand has had an exceptional year of results that started with a National Championship in January followed by a World Qualifying Series win in Australia in May among other top results.

“Yeah my boards have been a huge factor in my performances this year but also I think I’ve totally changed my frame of mind this year and it’s helped not only in this event but others. So I’m just sticking with it. I’ve been working with a friend of mine Albee James from Bodyrehab and he’s helped me a lot with the mental side of things. Also changed a bit in my lifestyle stuff. So I’ve made some changes in my life and it’s paying off” said Stairmand who heads straight back to Europe to contest a QS6,000 event in the Azores next week.

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

Please see final results for the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games presented by Vans completed at Miyazaki, Japan today (Sunday 15th September).

Team Rankings
1, Brazil
2, USA
3, Japan
4, Peru
5, South Africa
6, Australia
7, New Zealand
8, Costa Rica
9, Portugal
10, Spain

Men’s Repechage Round 10
Heat 2
Ramzi Boukiam (MAR), 1, Billy Stairmand (NZL), 2, Filipe Toledo (BRA), DNS

Men’s Repechage Round 11
Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR), 13.64, 1, Sun Murakami (JPN), 12.57, 2, Fredrico Morias (POR), 12.53, Billy Stairmand (NZL), 11.17, 4

Men’s Results
1, Italo Ferreira (BRA)
2, Kolohe Andino (USA)
3, Gabriel Medina (BRA)
4, Shun Murikami JPN)
8, Billy Stairmand
19, Kehu Butler
37, Ricardo Christie

Women’s Results
1, Sofia Mulanovich (PER)
2, Silvana Lima (BRA)
3, Bianca Buitendag (ZAF)
4, Carissa Moore (USA)
29, Ella Williams
33, Paige Hareb
33, Raiha Ensor

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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