- 07 December 2011 | Surfing
The Peruvian surfer Cristobal de Col has conquered the Open Men gold medal in the new South American Beach Games Surfing Championships, held in Manta, Ecuador.
The second edition of the surf contest took place in the two-to-five-foot perfect waves of San Mateo. More than 100 surfers from Peru, Brazil and Ecuador won gold medals in each of the event's five divisions.
The finals were held today in sunny conditions. The 2011 ISA World Junior Champion, Peruvian Cristobal de Col, was the winner of the Open Men division, leaving his fellow team-mate Miguel Tudela, 2011 ISA Junior Copper medalist, in second and 2011 ISA Open Men World Champion, Santiago Muñiz from Argentina, in third.
Local Dominic Barona dominated the Open Women division, showing impressive skills to give a historic first Gold to her country. Argentinean Ornella Pellizzari won the Silver and Brazilian Suelen Naraisa won the Bronze.
Locals Jorge Maldonado and Johnny Alcivar also made history for their country as they won Gold and Silver respectively in the Bodyboard division. Bronze went to Brazil's Francirley Ferreira.
Brazil's presence was especially strong in the Longboard discipline with Jefson Silva and Carlos Bahía winning Gold and Silver. Argentinean Martín Pérez took the Bronze. Once again, Brazil prevailed in the Tag Team (patterned after the ISA Aloha Cup), leaving Argentina in second and Peru in third.
In the previous edition of the Games (Uruguay 2009), out of four categories, three went to Brazil and one to Peru. Out of this year's five divisions, Ecuador and Brazil each won two, making them the highlight of this tournament. The other Gold medal went to Peru.
"It was amazing to have the continent's best surfers in Ecuador for the South American Beach Games," said Ecuadorian Surfing Federation President, Manolo Lozano. "This is also really important, since we are committed to give everything we can to help surfing become an Olympic Sport. Working in Olympic-related multi-sports events is a significant drop in the bucket to achieve this goal."