Italo Ferreira and Carissa Moore win first-ever Olympic surfing gold medals
Italo Ferreira and Carissa Moore have written a new golden chapter in the history of surfing. They are the inaugural Olympic surfing champions.
It was finals day, and everyone knew what was at stake at Tsurigasaki Beach. And for those who thought a wave pool was a good idea for Tokyo 2020, the Japanese venue proved them wrong.
The tricky conditions fueled by Tropical Storm Nepartak put the world's best surfers to the test but also provided plenty of liquid ramps and high-scoring opportunities.
In the men's final, Ferreira defeated Kanoa Igarashi, proving that he was the most in-form surfer of the Olympic competition.
The 27-year-old Brazilian even broke a board and had to come in to get a backup.
"It is definitely one of the best days in my life. I was really nervous at the start of the heat, but then I just tried to surf and have fun, explained Ferreira.
"Two months ago, I was training hard and dreaming about this moment, and now I've won the gold medal. It's a dream come true."
In the bronze medal matchup, Owen Wright defeated two-time world champion Gabriel Medina and made history for Australia.
Wright, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2015 and often times wears a helmet to protect him from the pounding surf, was able to climb the Olympic podium and fulfill a dream.
Carissa Honors Duke's Legacy
In the women's final, Moore beat Bianca Buitendag and added the Olympic surfing title to her trophy room.
The Hawaiian put on a solid performance and only needed to catch six waves to seal the deal.
Duke Kahanamoku, the father of modern surfing and the first surfer to advocate the inclusion of his beloved sport in the Olympic Games, must be proud of Moore's achievement.
"The medal is quite heavy. I'm very proud and honored, and I feel blessed and fortunate to live this incredible experience," said Carissa Moore.
"It's been a crazy couple of days, and a little bit of a rollercoaster of emotions just trying to figure out the break, find my rhythm, and learning how to trust myself without my family here."
The battle for bronze saw Amuro Tsuzuki defeating Caroline Marks for the delight of the Japanese national surfing team.
In the end, two Championship Tour surfers claimed the gold medals at Tokyo 2020, and a total of five nations took home the six medals on offer.
Next stop, Teahupoo, for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Surfing at Tokyo 2020: Gold, Silver and Bronze Medalists
1. Italo Ferreira (BRA)
2. Kanoa Igarashi (JAP)
3. Owen Wright (AUS)
1. Carissa Moore (USA)
2. Bianca Buitendag (RSA)
3. Amuro Tsuzuki (JAP)
Surfing at Tokyo 2020: Semifinals Results
1. Kanoa Igarashi (JAP) 17.00
2. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.76
1. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.17
2. Owen Wright (AUS) 12.47
1. Bianca Buitendag (RSA) 11.00
2. Caroline Marks (USA) 3.67
1. Carissa Moore (USA) 8.33
2. Amuro Tsuzuki (JAP) 7.43
Surfing at Tokyo 2020: Quarterfinals Results
1. Kanoa Igarashi (JAP) 12.60
2. Kolohe Andino (USA) 11.00
1. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.33
2. Michel Bourez (FRA) 13.66
1. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 16.30
2. Hiroto Ohhara (JAP) 11.90
1. Owen Wright (AUS) 12.74
2. Lucca Mesina (PER) 7.83
1. Bianca Buitendag (RSA) 9.50
2. Yolanda Hopkins (POR) 5.46
1. Caroline Marks (USA) 12.50
2. Brisa Hennessy (CRC) 6.83
1. Carissa Moore (USA) 14.26
2. Silvana Lima (BRA) 8.30
1. Amuro Tsuzuki (JAP) 13.27
2. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 11.67