- 20 October 2008 | Surfing
20 year old Garut Widiarta Rip Curl's rider from Bali became the first surfer in history to win a gold medal in the sport of surfing at an Olympic event at Kuta Beach in Bali, Indonesia.
The talented young surfer proudly held up the Indonesian flag as he and silver medalist Raditya Rondi accepted the cheers of the crowd in front of the judging tower.
In an intense 30 minute round of competition in their home break of Kuta Beach, the two cousins fought a pitched battle in the 2 foot low tide surf with Rondi leading for most of the heat, until Widiarta maneuvered into the perfect position to let loose with a couple of amazing aerial displays that had the judges reaching punching some big numbers into their keypads.
When the horn blew Widiarta had tallied up a score of 18.50 for his best two waves, leaving Rondi just short with 17.20.
10 surfers from 5 countries, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, the Maldives, and Vietnam competed today in the 1st Asian Beach Games men's shortboard surfing event, with Widiarta winning the gold over Raditya Rondi and Shigenori Suzuki from Japan getting the bronze.
This is truly a benchmark for surfing, as it is the first time the sport of surfing has ever been included in an Olympic event. In addition to the men's shortboard event , there will also be a women's shortboard event, a men's longboard event, an aerial surfing event, and a team event.