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France Claim Gold at ISA World Games 2017

 

The 2017 ISA World Games took place last week in the French surfing mecca of Biarritz, held in what could pretty much be described as typical French beachbreak conditions; ever changing with the tides and swell but yet some of the most undeniably fun surf the planet has to offer. Plus the backdrop is undeniably one of the most scenic you could hope for. Biarritz delivered. 

 

At the events culmination it was Mexican Jhony Corzo who took the honours in the mens division and Pauline Ado from France the womens. The event was a major benchmark from a European perspective, with the French team dominating to take home the gold medal, Portugal claiming the silver and Spain the bronze. And that wasn’t the only sign of European ascendancy. Johanne Defay was a close second to compatriot Ado in the womens final to conclude a French domination of the division, and in the mens final Corzo was the only surfer not from Europe. WCT rookie Joan Duru finished in second place, Pedro Henrique (POR) third and Jonathan Gonzalez (ESP) finished in fourth. In fact, come the semi final stage it seemed you could have picked any of the European surfers to take the crown. Only two surfers from countries outside the jurisdiction of the European Surfing Federation were still in the hat at this point, Jordy Collins (USA) and the event winner Corzo. Yassime Ramdani placed an outstanding fifth for Morocco and Spain’s Vicente Romero also came agonisingly close to making the final. Jeremy Flores (FRA), Europe’s most successful on the world stage (Pipeline and Teahupoo CT victories etc), was also knocked out at the semi final stage which highlights the standard of surfing on display and the fact that the Euro surfers were leading the charge. 

 

It should come as no surprise that there was a European on-two-three in the overall positions. The work has been going on behind the scenes for years and it was only a matter of time before the rewards would be seen. France now hold both the ISA senior and junior titles and Portugal have now held the silver medal in the last two ISA games. Spain have a ridiculous amount of talent coming through and an impeccable team supporting them so the fact they rounded out the podium positions should come as no surprise to anyone. 

 

It’s been written before on this website and to a certain extent this is now repetition, but the ascendancy of European surfing is now in full swing. With the Tokyo Olympics round the corner the timing couldn’t be better and with the team structures in place across the continent I don’t think it would be out of the question that we’ll see a European surfer with a medal when 2020 comes around. 

 

 

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