MIYAZAKI JAPAN SEP 7-15
ISA Word Surfing Game is held every year.
This year’s ISA was a special game for all surfers because it was one of the qualifying competitions for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics which gathered top surfers from all around the world.
Competing in the Olympics is one of my biggest dreams and I was very excited for this specific event.
《The Process of getting qualified for the Tokyo Olympics》
This website contains a detailed information on the Tokyo Olympics qualification. Please take a read if you are interested.
In order for me to be qualified for an Indonesian representative in the Olympic games, I had to win against all other Asian surfers including Japanese surfers.
Out of all sport players, there are only 20 spots for the surfing event to compete in the Olympics. Despite the small number, I have being working hard with the hope to win this spot because I believed in myself.
Although I was very nervous, I tried to stay calm since I knew that being nervous did not help.
Arrived at Miyazaki Airport
Checking in for the competition
With the ISA President, Mr. Fernando Aguerre
A shot with the legend, Kelly Slater. He also competed in this event as a representative of the United States.
Women’s heat was held before men’s because there were some male competitors who could not arrive in Miyazaki on time due to competing in other events before ISA.
In the meanwhile, the men’s heat began and our Indonesian male representatives were,
me, Oney, and Ketut.
The condition of the waves was very good in the first half of the women’s heat, however, the size got smaller as the men’s heat began and it eventually became a very difficult condition.
Despite the condition, I had no problem because I had been practicing to surf small waves at Kuta beach in order to compete in small waves of Japan.
Although I competed as an Indonesian representative, a lot of Japanese supporters cheered me up and I really appreciated the warm support.
I continued to win my heats without a problem, until I lost in the Round 5, when the waves actually started getting better.
In Round 5, I competed against great surfers such as Kelly Slater and Gabriel Medina. When I think back to my heat with them, I realized that there were chances which I could have used to win. I was not satisfied with my own results.
ISA events have its own rules and one of them is that even if you lose in the main rounds, there is always one more chance to get back in the competition by winning in the consolation rounds.
With this rule, I had an opportunity to surf again, and this time I was with two Japanese great surfers who had won in WQS10000 games in the past. In order to be qualified to the Olympics, I had to win against these two surfers and it was a very important heat for me.
It was a very close game and I became second in the heat that I was able to go to the next round. I was super happy.
Even in the next round, I won against a surfer that I respect and who I usually have difficulty winning. To my surprise, I was first place in passing the consolation rounds until then.
My third consolation heat was against Shun Murakami who was the only other Asian surfer left in this competition. If I won against him in this round, I was going to win my ticket to the Olympics.
I was fully committed to winning this heat, however, even though I caught a great wave in the end, I fell off and could not win the round. I still think about if I had made that wave…. Since I ended here in this event, I was second in the Asian surfers and could not get my qualification for the Olympics.
There will be one more ISA event held before the Tokyo Olympics.
The location is still not decided yet, but this will be my last chance. I have learned a lot from the previous event in Miyazaki and I would like to challenge again.
This event was definitely a special one because countries competed against each other and every surfer in the team was supporting one another. Despite the fact that surfing is an individual sport, this led surfing to become a team sport at the same time. Watching my teammates doing great work inspired me to be better and it was such an exciting event.
I ended up 9th place overall, which was the same as last year. It was an honor to compete this far, considering how high the level of this competition was this year. At the same time, I learnt that I was still not enough to win and it encouraged me to do better next time. I felt a lot of things during the event and it surely became a special memory.
I would like to absorb what I have learnt and motivate myself to step up as a surfer. Thank you for the support.