Alas, for the King, who will have other less obvious opportunities to qualify for the Games than these Worlds where he did not even participate (the CT 2023, where he will have to be among the two best Americans at the end of the season and the 2024 ISA Worlds, where a new non-nominal male quota will be distributed), and the US collective, Igarashi has been competing since 2018 under the Japanese flag. Born in California to Japanese parents, the man who grew up and forged a destiny as a pro surfer in the waves… from Huntington Beach did not hide the reasons for his choice four years ago: “I want to be able to participate at the Olympics. “He was then aiming for the first Surfing Games, “at home” in Tokyo, for which he will qualify and in 2021 win the silver medal.
This Saturday, the day of a multitude of verdicts at the 2022 ISA Worlds, Kanoa Igarashi, 5th in the world this season on the CT, went to the end of his domination by becoming, for the first time, ISA world champion, “at home”. so. A title conquered at the end of an incredible clear course of eight series surfed and won throughout the week!
During the grand final, deprived of any Americans after the repechage eliminations earlier in the day of Kolohe Andino and Nat Young, the double winner of the US Open, disputed in these same waves of Huntington, has a new times spoke about his experience of the spot and his aerial surfing to post the two best scores (7.83 and 8.13) of the series. With a total of 15.96 points, he left the very likely future resident of the elite in 2023, the Indonesian Rio Waida (current solid leader of the WSL Challenger Series circuit), the Australian from CT Jackson Baker (3rd) and the surprising Portuguese Guilherme Fonseca (4th, see results below).
Thanks to Igarashi therefore, but also to Shun Murakami (11th) and Keanu Kamiyama (25th), Japan finished first men’s nation of the Worlds and won the non-nominative quota for the Paris 2024 Olympics. It could allow the Japanese collective to present up to to three surfers in Teahupo’o.
The women’s title went to Californian Kirra Pinkerton. The former WSL junior world champion (in 2018) ended up beating Pauline Ado (2nd), Australian triple ISA world champion Sally Fitzgibbons (3rd) and Peruvian Daniella Rosas (4th) in the final. A success which, combined with 9th place for Gabriela Bryan and 21st for Zoe McDougall, grants the United States the non-nominative female quota for these 2022 ISA Worlds for the Paris Olympics.
Enough to allow the US National Olympic Committee to almost certainly present three surfers to Teahupo’o, since it obviously seems that the first two sesames delivered by the CT 2023 will find takers between, to choose Carissa Moore, Lakey Peterson, Caroline Marks , Courtney Conlogue, Gabriela Bryan or others promoted to the elite next year. Incongruity of the qualification system, Pinkerton, who is this year in the race for accession to the CT (she is 12th CS with three events remaining, while the first five will be promoted at the end of the exercise) has thus little chances of participating in the Olympics despite his victory in Huntington Beach…
Finally, in the nations ranking, the United States are crowned world champions and succeed France which, a year after triumphing in El Salvador, this time climbs to the 3rd step of the podium, behind Australia (2nd) and just ahead Portugal (4th). Les Bleus who, despite a largely renewed collective (exit Duru, Florès, Bourez, Bulard) and some of their absent leaders (Defay, Huscenot), have clearly exceeded expectations and leave California with three medals, one of each color: gold in relay, silver for teenagers and bronze for teams.