PUNTA ROCAS, Peru - A full day of talent-packed elimination rounds narrowed the field of competitors in contention for medals at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games surfing competition. The SUP Surfing competition has not yet advanced as far as the Shortboard and Longboard disciplines, so no medals have been guaranteed for any athlete.
Brazil's two-time and defending ISA SUP Surfing World Champion Luiz Diniz made a strong recovery after an unlucky Main Event heat in which he broke his leash. Diniz earned the second highest heat total of the day among all disciplines with 17.34 points in the Repechage Round. Argentina's Lucia Cosoleto topped the Women's SUP Surfing with a 10.40 score, the highest of the day of the division.
History will be made when competition resumes on Friday morning as the SUP Racing discipline will award the first SUP Gold Medals in the history of the Pan American Games. The race features a three-lap, five kilometer course through the surf zone at Punta Rocas, that will require expertise and precision to take advantage of the powerful waves.
Top athletes of the sport such as USA's Connor Baxter and Candice Appleby, Canada's Lina Augaitis, Brazil's Vinnicius Martins, and Peru's Itzel Delgado will be contesting for the historic Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals.
Female standout of the day, Lucia Cosoleto (ARG). | Photo: Latinwave
President of Panam Sports, Neven Ilic, came to the surfing venue at Punta Rocas on Thursday to enjoy the world-class performances on display.
"Everything I've seen here today at the Lima 2019 Games is incredible, especially the legacy that this will leave for Surfing in the Americas," said Ilic. "I congratulate you all, first for the competition, second for the work that you have done, and all that will be left here for the continent. Have a great, successful competition!"
ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:
"You can sense the Olympic spirit in the air here at the Pan Am Games. The Men's and Women's Tokyo 2020 qualifying slots have been narrowed to likely just six athletes of each gender, which has brought out an excitement and passion that is defining our sport. I am proud to know that tomorrow SUP racers will contest for the event's first and historic Gold Medals. It's amazing to see the ISA's years of investment, development, and growth of SUP Racing come to fruition and raise the sport to a global stage. It was a pleasure to see Panam Sports President Neven Ilic enjoying the surfing competition today. We hope that Surfing's inclusion in the Games is permanent and that it returns for the 2023 edition in Santiago, Chile."
The Lima 2019 Pan Am Games are being broadcast live July 30 - August 4. To find out where and when you can watch, check the listing with the respective Lima 2019 broadcast rightsholder in your country. Live scoring and results will be available on the homepage of www.isasurf.org as well as on the Lima 2019 surfing web page. Competition continues Friday with SUP Racing, Longboard, Shortboard and SUP Surfing.
For more news on the 2019 Pan Am Games, click HERE.