Samoa's Maika Felise Advances to Semi Final
Monday morning at Aganoa saw two Open Men Long Board heats take place. Out of the two heats this morning, the first two from each heat go through directly to the semi final. The rest of the surfers get one more chance at a final spot by competing in the repechage event.
Going through directly through to the semi final was Micheal Burling (Tonga), Ian Muller (Fiji), Michael Demont (Tahiti) and Gerard Cogney (New Caledonia). Samoa's Maika Felise and Andrew Abel from PNG are to fight it out in the repechage event with the third and fourth place semi finalist from the qualifying semi final event.
Surfer Maika Felise is Samoa's medal hopeful for the Long Board event.To win Gold Maika will have to beat current World Long Boarding
Champion, Tahitian Michel Demont, and the SPG 2003 gold medalist Tongan
The local village turn out to support the Samoan surfer, with more people joining the beach crowd as the morning went on. The crowd cheered at every wave Maika caught, waving samoan flags and whistling.
Even though Maika did not get a direct place in the semi final event, he has a chance at a medal by winning through the Open Men's Long Board repechage event.
Samoa's Maika Felise said of his event this morning's that is what not very good. "I was really nervous. The waves were good but my selection of the waves was not good. I was sitting in the wrong spot all the time."
Miaka is relieved that his first event is over and said "now the first comp is over and the butterflies are gone, I am a lot more relaxed and not worried so much about the next heat. I will try to get through to the final but at the moment anyone can win."
Mika's local knowledge and work with the Samoan team surf coach for the past 6 weeks at the Aganoa surf break has helped him prepare for the competition. Maika's surf coach is from Australia and has worked with a range of professional surfers on the world tour. He said "Maika was great to work with and has been really responsive to all the work and training he has been given." He also believes that "with his hard work and knowledge of the challenging break, he has a chance at a gold medal."
The samoan spectators lining the beach and waving Samoan flags are hoping that all that hard work will pay off for Samoa's first gold medal in Long Boarding. Go Maika!
Source: Kate Archer