- 12 December 2009 | Surfing
Alejo Muniz (BRA), Rafael Pereira (VEN), Leandro Usuna (ARG), Analí Gómez (PER), Camila Cassia (BRA) and Gabriela Leite (BRA) entered the history books today, Friday, December 11, in Montoya beach, after winning the 1st South American Beach Games medals in the Surfing Competition.
It was a short but intense day 3, with only two finals being held in 3 foot, glassy right-handers.
The Women’s final went to the water first with a strong start for Brazilian, Camila Cassia but then, Peruvian Analí Gómez found the right waves, and took the lead after scoring a 5.00 and a 6.33 to win the gold. Cassia took the silver and Leite the bronze.
An excited Analí Gómez said after the final: “It was tough at the beginning because I couldn’t find the right waves, but then I was lucky to get two that gave me the gold medal. I’m feeling great! I already won the Bolivarian Games gold medal this year, so this is my second one. It makes me proud to win medals for my country.”
Gomez ended saying: “I would love to see surfing in the Olympics. It is the highest aspiration for a surfer to go to the biggest sport events in the world”.
People went crazy with the level of the Men final that had the four contestants ripping. The 2008 ISA Junior World Champion, Alejo Muniz from Brazil shined with a surfing that fitted the small but perfect conditions. The top two scoring waves of the heat were ridden by him, an 8.00 and a 7.20, after he executed perfectly a great combination of cutbacks, tail slides and off the lips.
Running behind with an awesome display of progressive surfing was Venezuela’s wonder kid Rafael Pereira who again performed great aerials that ended up giving him the silver medal. Leandro Usuna from Argentina surfed with his characteristic clean and fluid style to get the Bronze that gave the joy to an excited and really happy Argentinean fans crowd.
After the final was over National Olympic Committees’ officials greeted their athletes in the sand. The Olympic spirit was present today in the sands of Montoya.
Muniz, who came from Hawaii one day before the start of the contest, where he won Rookie in the Triple Crown award, surfing big waves, won again in the small but perfect Montoya waves. He was visibly very excited, saying: “I’m feeling really happy, it’s an honor to represent Brazil in this event and to win the gold medal is simply amazing! I feel proud of myself. I left Hawaii in a rush to make it here on time, and now I know I did the job. It represents a lot also because is the first time that we’re part of this games, so now my name is going to be written in the history books”!
He also added, regarding the fact that the Olympic flag was weaving on the beach and the chance of surfing inclusion in the Olympic Games, that: “I would love to see surfing in the Olympics. This event is a great way to demonstrate that we can do it. Our sport is practiced all over the world by over 20 million athletes. People enjoy watching surfing… This contest is a great step towards the inclusion. It’s wonderful to come here not only with the surfing team, but also with the full Brazilian Olympic team, including Beach Soccer or Volley. It’s great to be wearing this competition vest with the Olympic Rings is awesome”!
The event will have a lay day tomorrow, Saturday and re-start on Sunday, when the entire Air Show competition will take place along with the final of the Aloha Cup that will have Venezuela, Brazil, Peru and Argentina surfing for the medals.