Olympics-Surfing-Surfers embrace stormy conditions with medals up for grabs

With the rain pouring down and the rolling waves reaching over head height at times, Japanese surfer Kanoa Igarashi hit a brilliant early barrel wave en route to victory over American Kolohe Andino in the day's first quarter-final. "Today is one of those days when it's man against ocean, more so than competing against your competitor, but that's what makes it fun," Igarashi, who will meet Brazil's Gabriel Medina, told reporters.


Reuters | Updated: 27-07-2021 08:58 IST | Created: 27-07-2021 08:58 IST
Olympics-Surfing-Surfers embrace stormy conditions with medals up for grabs

Brazil's Italo Ferriera powered into semi-finals of the men's Olympic surfing competition with a superb 9.73 on his first wave, while South African outsider Bianca Buitendag set up a last-four clash with American teenager Caroline Moore.

With other sports at the Games fearing disruption from stormy conditions in Tokyo, surfers are embracing the wild and windy weather as the first Olympic medals in the sport's history are set to be decided on Tuesday. Ferreira made the most of the conditions, hitting a spectacular run seconds into his heat against Japan's Hiroto Ohhara to cruise into the final four, where he will meet Australia's Owen Wright.

"Mother Nature and the ocean throws many different curveballs at you, so you've just gotta ride those and see where it takes us," Wright told Reuters. With the rain pouring down and the rolling waves reaching over head height at times, Japanese surfer Kanoa Igarashi hit a brilliant early barrel wave en route to victory over American Kolohe Andino in the day's first quarter-final.

"Today is one of those days when it's man against ocean, more so than competing against your competitor, but that's what makes it fun," Igarashi, who will meet Brazil's Gabriel Medina, told reporters. In the women's competition, Buitendag built on her victory over seven-times world champ Stephanie Gilmore on Monday by scoring a win over Yolanda Hopkins of Portugal to set up a semi-final meeting with 19-year-old Marks.

On the other side of the draw, Moore cruised past Brazil's Silvana Lima, and she will take on Japan's Amuro Tsuzuki in the other semi. There were plenty of big waves to choose from but the competitors had to be careful as each paddle back out in the heavy swell sapped energy that may be needed later in the day.

Rather than avoid the bad weather, organisers moved the surfing semi-finals and finals forward a day to make the most of the big, bold waves, which are expected to abate as the weather changes on Wednesday. With the rain clouds clearing and the sun appearing, the conditions are changeable as the athletes prepare for the semi-finals, which are due to get underway just before noon local time.

"It's really tricky to find some waves when it's really quick out there, it's constantly changing and you just have to adapt and that's the beauty of surfing - you're always adapting," Caroline Marks told reporters ahead of her meeting with Buitendag.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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