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Lightfoot, Slattery power through in Portugal
- Updated: October 28, 2014
Dylan Lightfoot posted the first success by a member of the ASP Africa squad competing in the Allianz ASP World Junior Championships when he won the final heat of Round One on Monday and advanced directly to Round Three at Ribeira d’Ilhas in Portugal.
The standalone event that crowns the 2014 ASP World Junior Champions and offers invaluable access into the ASP Prime events during 2015 to the top four men and two women, is contested by squads of competitors aged 20-and-younger selected by the seven ASP Regional offices.
Lightfoot, who likened the waves for the event to those at the Point in his hometown of Jeffreys Bay, was joined in Round Three by ASP Africa teammate Slade Prestwich after the Durbanite outpointed Juninho Urcia (PER) in their elimination Round Two.
A third South African reached the last 32 in Portugal when Kommetjie’s Benji Brand, who isrepresenting ASP Hawaii in the event, delivered a high quality Round One performance to claim victory and skip the cutthroat Round Two clashes that saw the demise of several of his compatriots.
Diran Zakarian (Melkbosstrand), Jordy Maree (Kalk Bay) and the Jeffreys Bay pair of Matthew McGillivray and Joshe Faulkner all faltered in their opening duels on Sunday and were then ousted from the event in their respective Round Two man-on-man heats yesterday.
The event got underway in ideal one metre waves on Saturday with the women’s event where the ASP Africa representatives, sisters Emma and Gina Smith from Jeffreys Bay, struggled to impress the judges. The girls will gain plenty of experience from mingling and competing with their peers from around the globe despite ending their respective Round One heats in combination situations and needing substantial scores to advance from their Round Two heats.
Lightfoot, the 16th seed in Portugal and No132 on the ASP Qualification Series rankings, faces a tough battle against ASP North America top seed Parker Coffin (USA) in Round 3 with the winner progressing to the last 16 when competition recommences.
Prestwich’s task will be equally difficult as he takes on Joshua Moniz (HAW), the top point scorer in Round One, while Brand will meet Italian phenom Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA).