NSW surfer Sally Fitzgibbons has made history by winning gold at the 2021 Women’s International Surfing Association (ISA) World Surfing Games in El Salvador.
The victory makes her the first evet athlete to earn individual gold at the Games on three occasions, after topping the podium in 2008 and 2018.
Fresh off taking out the World Surf League event in Rottnest Island (Western Australia) last month, the South Coast local is firming as one of the favourites ahead of the sport’s debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“This event has been an unreal platform to test our mental strength,” said Fitzgibbons. “It’s surreal to be wearing the Gold Medal at the end of the week.
What an amazing feeling to win Gold @ISAsurfing World Games🥇 wearing my Heart on my sleeve and surfing with everything I’ve got for the mighty Aussie land 👊🇦🇺 @SurfingAus #irukandjis @BoostAus @Breitling @AlmondBreezeAUS @All @LandRoverAus @SurfFCS @DevikaWorld @UnderArmour pic.twitter.com/xtKOoTqwhI
— Sally Fitzgibbons (@Sally_Fitz) June 6, 2021
“This is a great runway heading into Tokyo 2020. Just competing and seeing all the Olympians get their spots is great. Being on the World Tour we don’t get to surf against a lot of the other Olympians. It’s good practice to go against them and spend time bonding with the rest of the Aussie team.
“Surfing has finally arrived as a global sport. It’s got the recognition now. We are going to the Olympics. It’s cool to have that as a milestone in my career. I want to go as long as I can in the sport because I love it.”
After being relegated to the Repechage rounds late last week, Fitzgibbons channeled The Irukandjis (Australia’s National Surfing Team) spirit to grind through seven sudden death Repechage heats to make the final where she was never going to be beaten.
With a 14.1 point heat total in the final, Fitzgibbons finished ahead of Portuguese pair Yolanda Sequeira and Teresa Bonvalot with Peruvian Daniella Rosas in fourth.
The Irukandjis finished fifth overall on the team’s leaderboard with seven-time WSL Women’s World Champion Stephanie Gilmore was eliminated in Repechage 7.
For more information, visit the Surfing Australia website.