Individual Gold Medalists: Japan’s Shiori Okazawa (Girls U-18), Venezuela’s Luis Rodriguez (Dropknee), Chile’s Yoshua Toledo (Boys U-18), France’s Anne Cécile Lacoste (Open Women) and Brazil’s Eder Luciano (Open Men)
After five days of intense competition at la Punta Uno, Team Brazil claimed the Team Gold Medal at the 2015 Iquique Para Todos ISA World Bodyboard Championship. Trailing Team Chile heading into the Final Day, Brazil was able to seize first place behind a strong team performance headed by Eder Luciano’s Gold Medal.
Japan’s Shiori Okazawa (Girls U-18), Venezuela’s Luiz Rodriguez (Dropknee), Chile’s Yoshua Toledo (Boys U-18), France’s Anne Cécile Lacoste (Open Women) and Brazil’s Eder Luciano (Open Men) prevailed with the individual Gold Medals after a string of nail-biting Finals. ISA World Championship experience proved to give some competitors an edge in the Finals, as four of the five champions were past ISA Gold Medalists.
ISA President Fernando Aguerre addressed the crowd at the Closing Ceremony following the competition:
“I want to send my warmest congratulations to the dear city of Iquique, Mayor Jorge Soria, Iquique’s City Council and all the participants for the excellent competition this week with amazing waves. The ISA World Bodyboard Championship will say farewell to Iquique after two incredible years, but the ISA will return to Iquique, as the city leaders and the ISA have agreed on the hosting of the 2016 ISA World Master Surfing Championship. Not only did we make history here in Chile, but we made friendships, progressed the sport of Bodyboard and united the international Bodyboard community. Muchas gracias Iquique.”
Sunday morning’s action kicked off with clean, sunny conditions at Punta Uno as the Repechage Finals in each division decided who would move onto the Grand Final. In the Boys U-18 Repechage Final, France’s Milo Delage scored the first 10-point wave of the day, getting spit out of one of the most solid barrels of the morning and earning a spot in the Grand Final.
After the Repechage Rounds solidified all of the finalists, the U-18 Girls Repechage Grand Final took to the water where Japan’s Shiori Okazawa was able to take the Gold Medal followed by Brazil’s Victória Moraes with the Silver Medal, France’s Kim Veteau with the Bronze Medal and Chile’s Anais Veliz with the Copper Medal. Okazawa, who reclaimed the Junior Girls Gold Medal after winning it in 2012, spoke about her accomplishment.
“I am so happy to win the Gold Medal. When I was a little girl in Japan I saw Bodyboard for the first time and wanted to try it. I trained hard and now I have won my second ISA World Championship.”
The Dropknee Grand Final followed, which turned out to be one of the most tightly contested of the day. With set waves far and few between, Venezuela’s Luis Rodriguez made the most of the opportunities that were presented to him and executed critical, progressive maneuvers to earn his second ISA Gold Medal with a score of 13.77. The Silver, Bronze and Copper Medals came down to the wire, being decided by less than a point. Peru’s Cesar Bauer (11.84) finished with the Silver, Chile’s Renato Arellano (11.67) with the Bronze and Brazil’s Daniel Alves (11.16) with the Copper.
“I knew that I could win because I have a team that gives me great vibes every day. I have trained for a year and now I won my second ISA Gold Medal,” said Rodriguez. “It means a lot for my country of Venezuela because only half of my team was able to come here. It was hard for us to get to where we are.”
The U-18 Boys Grand Final took to the water next, as the reigning champion and Iquique local, Yoshua Toledo was able to come from behind and edge out Brazil’s Socrates Santana for his second consecutive ISA Junior Gold Medal. Portugal’s Stephanos Kokorelis found one of the rare, wide-open barrels on Sunday at la Punta Uno, scoring the second perfect 10-point ride of the day. However, he was not able to find a solid back-up score to overcome the high two-wave totals of Toledo and Santana, finishing with the Bronze Medal. France’s Milo Delage rounded out the Final with the Copper Medal.
“I am very happy to have beaten tremendous international athletes,” said Toledo. “I can’t believe that I won for the second year in a row and I am thankful for the opportunity to wear the Chilean Red. I am proud of my country and my city of Iquique. I would also like to point out the amazing support that has allowed Bodyboarding to continue to be strong in this beautiful country.”
The penultimate Grand Final of the day featured the Open Women. Anne Cécile Lacoste defeated the Silver Medalist and past ISA World Champion, Brazil’s Neymara Carvalho, to become the sole first-time individual Gold Medalist of the day. Joana Schenker’s strong run through the Repechage Rounds finished with her winning the Bronze Medal and Japan’s Ayaka Suzuki, who fell behind after being called for an interference, could not climb out of fourth place and earned the Copper Medal.
“This is a feeling that I’ve never felt,” exclaimed Lacoste. “It’s an honor for me to win this title for all the supporters that I have in France. I am very proud of my country and my team who are here with me. I could not have done it without them.”
The Final Day of competition culminated with the Open Men Final. Brazil’s Eder Luciano, the 2012 and 2013 Open Men Gold Medalist, came out on top and was crowned an ISA World Champion for the third time in his career. In a Final where set waves were scarce, wave selection was crucial and Luciano’s ISA World Championship experience propelled him to the top of the podium. The Final was rounded out by Chile’s Alan Muñoz, with the Silver Medal, Peru’s Miguel Rodriguez, with the Bronze Medal and Iquique’s own, Matías Díaz, with the Copper Medal.
“I have no words to explain what I am feeling now,” said Luciano. “It’s my third ISA World Title and I am really happy. I trained hard this year and this has been my best result. This world title is very important for Brazil because we live for Bodyboarding. This is for all of Brazil and my city. We are going to celebrate this victory.”
Watch the whole event action via webcast on demand: http://isaworlds.com/bodyboarding/en/live/
For a full list of all results, visit: http://isaworlds.com/bodyboarding/en/results/
For all photos, videos, news and event info, visit: www.ISAworlds.com
Shiori Okazawa (JPN), Gold Medal
Victoria Moraes (BRA), Silver Medal
Kim Veteau (FRA), Bronze Medal
Anais Veliz (CHI), Copper Medal
Yoshua Toledo (CHI), Gold Medal
Socrates Santana (BRA), Silver Medal
Stephanos Kokorelis (POR), Bronze Medal
Milo Delage (FRA), Copper Medal
Luis Rodriguez (VEN), Gold Medal
Cesar Bauer (PER), Silver Medal
Renato Arellano (CHI), Bronze Medal
Daniel Alves (BRA), Copper Medal
Anne Cécile Lacoste (FRA), Gold Medal
Neymara Carvalho (BRA), Silver Medal
Joana Schenker (POR), Bronze Medal
Ayaka Suzuki (JPN), Copper Medal
Eder Luciano (BRA), Gold Medal
Alan Muñoz (CHI), Silver Medal
Miguel Rodriguez (PER), Bronze Medal
Matias Diaz (CHI), Copper Medal
Final Team Rankings:
1. Brazil – Winner of the World Bodyboard Team Champion Trophy
2. Chile – Silver Medal
3. France – Bronze Medal
4. Peru – Copper Medal
8. Costa Rica
12. Puerto Rico