Despite exit, Rio upbeat about 2024 - Indonesia Olympic Commitee

Despite exit, Rio upbeat about 2024

Indonesian Olympic News Update   26 Jul 2021

TOKYO (26/7/21) - Indonesian surfer Rio Waida crashed out of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Monday (26/7) after losing to Kanoa Igarashi of Japan by a slim margin of 12-14 in the third round of men's surfing.

Rio fell behind 5.83 to 8.12 but performed heroically to catch up to Igarashi. However, he ran out of time as his journey at the 2020 Olympics comes to an end.

"The waves were bad with strong currents. For 10 minutes, I was not sure where to place my board. I didn't perform well either," said the 21-year old.

Rio defeated Igarashi in the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games held in Miyazaki, Japan. But unlike then, the waves at Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach were not good, especially in the summer.

Though he could not bring home a medal, Rio gained immense experience. Rio learned a trick or two from facing the world's best surfers.  Next, Rio will go to Mexico to compete in the World Championships before competing in four challenger events to qualify for the World Championship Tour, which also doubles as a Paris 2024 qualification event.

"Thank you for the support. I apologize for not winning a medal. I will try harder and perform better in Paris 2024," adds the Saitama-born surfer.

His coach, Tipi Jabrik, believes that PB PSOI (Surfing's national federation) should qualify two athletes for the next Olympics. For starters, Tipi thinks PB PSOI should send more athletes to more events. He also hopes there will be a strategic partnership between the Sports and Youth Ministry with the Tourism Ministry to maximize the potential of regions that can boost surfing's profile.

"They must identify which region has the potential to support surfing activities," said Tipi.

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