Back-to-back gold medals for Jimena Ruíz and Marta Paço
By ISA Staff
Two new World Champions were crowned, while two won back-to-back World Titles on a thrilling day of competition at the 2022 Pismo Beach ISA World Para Surfing Championships.
The 2021 gold medalists for Women’s Stand 2 and Women’s Vision Impairment 1, Jimena Ruíz (CRC) and Marta Paço (POR), each scored waves in the 9.00 range in their separate finals. The exceptional performances from both teenagers secured their second world titles.
Starting with an 8.33 and quickly backing it up with an 8.93, Australia’s Emma Dieters left fellow Women’s Prone 2 finalists Sarah Almagro (ESP), Celine Rouillard (FRA) and Jocelyn Neumueller (AUS) needing a combination of two waves to take the win. A 9.00 from teammate and defending champion Neumueller left the door open, with both surfers waiting for scores on the sand, but in the end, it was first-time competitor Dieters winning the gold medal, Neumeuller, silver, Almagro, bronze, and Rouillard, copper.
“I can’t believe that this has just happened,” Dieters said. “It’s an incredible feeling. To go one and two for Australia is just amazing.”
Spanish teammates Mireia Cabanes and Maria Martin-Granizo battled for the gold medal in an extremely tight Women’s Stand 3 Final. A wave caught in the dying seconds by Martin-Granizo proved just enough to take the win and the 16-year-old couldn’t have been more excited.
“I was so stressed while waiting for the scores,” Martin-Granizo said. “I put so much training into this championship and I wanted everything to go well. Finally, they gave me the score and I won and it’s the greatest thing in the world!”
Full rail turns from Liv Stone and Faith Lennox saw the USA teammates both progress to the Women’s Stand 1 Final, while the lightning fast surfing of Roberto Pino (BRA) in Men’s Stand 1 strengthened his hold on the leaderboard and guaranteed a finals berth.
Llywlyn ‘Sponge’ Williams (WAL) will meet three-time gold medalist and surfing’s oldest World Champion Mark ‘Mono’ Stewart (AUS) in the Men’s Kneel Final for the fourth time after the two men dominated their division’s Semifinals.
Two strong heats from Aaron Paulk (HAW) and Roy Calderon (CRC) progressed the former medalists into their third shared Final in Men’s Vision Impaired 2, along with 2021 silver medalist Miguel Flavio (BRA). A shock loss for Matt Formston (AUS) in the Semifinals allowed for his teammate Jack Jackson (AUS) to compete in his first Final.
In the last heat of the day Christiaan ‘Otter’ Bailey (USA) didn’t let the challenging conditions stop him from moving into his first Final since 2018. With six-time gold medalist Bruno Hansen (DEN) not present, the four-time silver medalist is ready to face the stiff competition from Casey Proud (HAW), Antonio Mueller (GER) and Marcal da Costa (BRA) that will decide a new gold medalist in his classification.
“We’re going to have a good battle,” Bailey said. “It’s a shame Bruno’s not here, but Casey is a good friend and absolutely incredible athlete and I look forward to doing battle with him tomorrow.”
Women’s Prone 2
Gold – Emma Dieters (AUS)
Silver – Jocelyn Neumueller (AUS)
Bronze – Sarah Almagro (ESP)
Copper – Celine Rouillard (FRA)
Women’s VI 2
Gold – Marta Paço (POR)
Silver – Valentine Moskoteoc (FRA)
Bronze – Barbie Pacheco (USA)
Women’s Stand 2
Gold – Jimena Ruíz (CRC)
Silver – Malu Mendes (BRA)
Bronze – Laurie Phipps (FRA)
Copper – Zoe Smith (ENG)
Women’s Stand 3
Gold – Maria Martin-Granizo (ESP)
Silver – Mireia Cabanes (ESP)