Mexico’s Alan Cleland and Brazil’s Tatiana Weston-Webb won the men’s and women’s world titles at the 2023 ISA World Surfing Games, while Peru emerged as the top-scoring team overall. Kanoa Igarashi and Kauli Vaast landed the remaining two Olympic qualification spots available through the competition, according to Olympics.com.
The men’s competition came down to Alan Cleland (MEX), Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Lucca Mesinas (PER) and Miguel Tudela (PER). Cleland, 21, nabbed one of the biggest wins of his career in the final, concluding a strong tournament overall as he carded three of the top-ten highest scores of the comp.
“It means everything. It’s something that I’ve worked for and put my time in since I started surfing and something that I wanted,” Cleland said. “It’s something that I strived (for), I dreamed, I put all my work into it. It came true and I can’t stop smiling. I’m just grateful.” This result qualifies Cleland for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games, which brings him one step closer to qualifying for the Olympics.
Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) won the final women’s heat against Erin Brooks (CAN), Johanne Defay (FRA) and Vahine Fierro (FRA). Though she has previously won two ISA U-18 world junior events, this is Weston-Webb’s first title while representing Brazil. She can qualify for the Paris Olympics at the 2023 Pan American Games, or finish in the top eight on the Championship Tour, which seems likely (she currently sits at number six).
The two remaining Olympic qualifications slots were awarded on finals day to Japan’s Kanoa Igarashi and France’s Kauli Vaast, for Asia and Europe, respectively. Fitting for Vaast, who grew up minutes from the end of the road, and one of the heaviest waves in the world (also the 2024 Olympic surfing venue).
“It’s such an honor to be in this position,” Igarashi said of his second go at gold. “The Olympics changed my life and to be here again in a position where I can go there and represent my country and try to get another medal, it means the world to me.”
A full list of scores, can be found here.