Fiji Open surfing team ready for Japan event

Members of the Fiji surfing team in last year's competition. Picture: SUPPLIED

*Compiled by IAN PORTINGALE 

THE Fiji Open surfing team leaves for Japan tomorrow bound for the ISA World Open Surfing titles scheduled for Tahara Beach, Japan.

The opening ceremony for the 44 countries is on Saturday along the streets of Tahara and is expected to draw a large crowd of spectators. Our team of Victor Maginnity from Suva, Inia Nakalevu from Momi, Lesi Navuwai from Vunaniu, Kim Bennett and Hannah Bennett from Rotuma have trained well, adjusting their technique and raising their fitness levels for the world titles and are expecting strong results.

Last year Fiji finished 43rd out of 55 countries in the open titles and the team is confident of improving against the expected world-class surfers. Our team of surfers have had international experience and know what it will take to achieve top results.

Japan’s Kanoa Igarashi and Australia’s Sally Fitzgibbons, both World Championship Tour surfers, are headlining the talent that has committed to represent their nations at the 2018 UR ISA World Surfing Games (WSG) in Tahara, Japan September 15-22.

Igarashi, fresh off a second consecutive win at the Vans US Open of Surfing, will make his debut representing Japan in an ISA Global Event after the ISA accepted his change of nation request earlier this year.

Igarashi, who previously surfed for USA, will lead a motivated home team of Japan, eager to build upon their strong fifth place finish at the 2017 edition of the WSG in Biarritz, France.

Fitzgibbons, currently the 8th ranked women on the World Surf League Championship Tour, will return to represent team Australia in the WSG after earning the Women’s Gold Medal in the 2008 edition in Portugal.

Other top athletes that will compete in Tahara include Brazil’s WCT surfer Ian Gouveia and New Zealand’s WQS surfer Paige Hareb.

An impressive number of surfers and nations are set to compete in Tahara – eager to provide a preview of the elite talent of Surfing that will compete in less than two years’ time at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The 2018 UR ISA World Surfing Games will be broadcast live on www.isasurf.orgSeptember 15-22. A huge thank you to the teams sponsors, Kontiki Finance, Cloudbreak Clothing, Fiji Airway and the Fiji National Sports Commission.

 

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