- Three medals deliver Brazil first Team World Junior Championship since 2003, USA take silver, Japan, bronze, Australia, copper
- Sierra Kerr (AUS) and Ryan Kainalo (BRA) continue the tradition of Australian and Brazilian World Champions
- Hans Odriozola first-ever Spanish World Junior Champion, Anon Matsuoka first Japanese to win girl’s gold medal
- First-ever ISA medal for Nicaragua won by Candelaria Resano
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – December 1, 2023
The future of global surfing was showcased as four new World Junior Champions were crowned on a historic day of competition at the 2023 ISA World Junior Surfing Championship (WJSC). Praia da Macumba delivered ideal two-to-three feet peaks, allowing performances to intensify with every heat, pushing the level to unprecedented heights.
Sierra Kerr (AUS) and Hans Odriozola (ESP) were crowned the Girl’s and Boy’s U/16 World Champions respectively, while Anon Matsuoka (JPN) and Ryan Kainalo (BRA) became the Girl’s and Boy’s U/18 World Champions.
Showcasing the development of surfing throughout the world, each of the new World Champions represent a different continent; Asia, Australia, Europe and South America.
Three medals deliver Brazil first Team World Junior Championship since 2003
After two days of dominance by Australia, host nation Brazil rose to the top of the team rankings, winning three medals in total, including Kainalo’s gold, along with bronze and copper medals respectively for Guilherme Lemos (BRA) and Ryan Coelho (BRA) in Boy’s U/16. It was the first time two Brazilians shared a Boy’s U/16 Final since 2009, when Gabriel Medina won the silver medal and Jesse Mendes won the copper in Ecuador.
The historic team victory for Brazil, the first since 2003, was also aided by the strength of their women’s team, which saw many impressive performances throughout the event.
Kainalo delivered incredible moments all week, but was put to the test today. The lead shifted many times in the Final, with Francisco Ordonhas (POR) and Kai Ordriozola (ESP) each posting strong 7-point rides. An 8.07 from Odriozola swung the heat in the Spaniard’s favor, but Kainalo’s consistency paid off, with a 7.70 sealing the deal. Ordonhas claimed the silver medal, Odriozola bronze, and Tenshi Iwami (JPN) copper.
“It’s so special for me,” Kainalo said. “I don’t have any words to say. I just want to say thank you to Team Brazil, all the guys helping us. I’m so happy.”
Sierra Kerr joins prestigious list of Australian World Junior Champions
At just 16-years-old, Sierra Kerr (AUS) is already one of the most famous surfers in the world. Today, the second-generation prodigy lived up to her potential, claiming her first World Championship and joining many fellow Australians, including Stephanie Gilmore and Tyler Wright, on a prestigious list of former WJSC gold medalists.
Kerr was able to find big scores in each heat in her journey through the event, none more so than the event-high score of 9.93 that opened her Semifinal. Though the Final itself was a tighter battle, Kerr’s sharp and exciting rail surfing was able to deliver her the win over USA’s Lanea Mons, silver, and Eden Walla, bronze, and France’s Clémence Schorsch in Girl’s U/16.
“It feels so good,” Kerr said. “I’ve been thinking about this one since last year and this was one I really wanted to win. I was so excited to pull it off.”
Hans Odriozola becomes first-ever Spanish World Junior Champion
From day one it seemed like a foregone conclusion that 2022 Boy’s U/16 Copper Medalist Hans Odriozola (ESP) and Lukas Skinner (ENG) would face off in the Boy’s U/16 Final, a match-up that did not disappoint. While Skinner was running hot all event, today’s performances by Odriozola made it seem like he hadn’t moved into second gear for the entire rest of the event, despite posting some of the highest scores all week long. The 15-year-old Spaniard earned the highest heat total of the event in the Semifinal, claiming a 9.83 and an 8.00 for a 17.83 total.
Skinner, also 15-years-old, started strong in the Final, opening with a huge forehand air reverse for a 7.83, and was able to maintain control for much of the heat. With 45 seconds left on the clock Odriozola needed to match Skinner’s two 8-point rides with another 8 of his own. Completely calm under the pressure, Odriozola greased a super-clean forehand air reverse to win by 0.05 points and claim Spain’s first-ever WJSC gold medal. Skinner’s silver medal finish was England’s highest-ever WJSC placing.
Japan’s first-ever girl’s gold medal won by Anon Matsuoka
Japan’s Anon Matsuoka has been going from strength-to-strength in her competitive surfing career and today the 18-year-old claimed her highest honor yet, Girl’s U/18 World Champion, the first Japanese woman to do so. A slow start to the Final for all four surfers, Matsuoka, Zoe Chait (USA), Candelaria Resano (NCA), and Kohai Fierro (TAH) added pressure throughout, but in the end Matsuoka was able to find the right waves to showcase her strong backhand surfing and claim the gold medal. Fierro earned silver, Resano bronze and Chait copper.
Resano’s bronze medal is the first ever ISA medal for Nicaragua. The 17-year-old’s journey to the Final in her thirteenth ISA event included earning the highest women’s heat total of the event, 17.26, in Round 5.
ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:
“This week we have witnessed the future of global surfing and it is bright. Through many different conditions these talented surfers have risen to the occasion and shown us such amazing performances.
“The incredible development of surfing worldwide has been on full display throughout the week, with new nations represented for the first time, teams winning historic first medals and each winner representing different continents.
“Congratulations to Team Brazil and to the four new World Champions and to each of the medalists. We know that one day we will see many of these surfers as Olympians, representing their nation on sport’s biggest stage.”
The 2023 WJSC will continue on Saturday, December 2 with the Aloha Cup at 10:00am BRT.
Gold – Brazil
Silver – USA
Bronze – Japan
Copper – Australia
Gold – Anon Matsuoka (JPN)
Silver – Kohai Fierro (TAH)
Bronze – Candelaria Resano (NCA)
Copper – Zoe Chait (USA)
Gold – Ryan Kainalo (BRA)
Silver – Francisco Ordonhas (POR)
Bronze – Kai Ordriozola (ESP)
Copper – Tenshi Iwami (JPN)
Gold – Sierra Kerr (AUS)
Silver – Lanea Mons (USA)
Bronze – Eden Walla (USA)
Copper – Clémence Schorsch (FRA)
Gold – Hans Odriozola (ESP)
Silver – Lukas Skinner (ENG)
Bronze – Guilherme Lemos (BRA)
Copper – Ryan Coelho (BRA)
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