ARASHI KATO AND MINATO TAKAHASHI CLAIM 2011 OAKLEY PRO JUNIOR JAPAN
Amid a steady 3- to 4-foot swell and sunny skies, the final day of action at the Oakley Pro Junior Japan got underway at Tsurigasaki beach today. With the opening day of competition whittling down the surfers to the quarterfinals, today’s action saw an already trimmed playing field hit the lineup. Moving into the first women’s semifinal were Asako Mizuno and Rina Kitazawa. With a display of top-shelf surfing, Mizuno took the win over Kitazawa. In the second semifinal heat we saw a showdown between Minato Takahashi and Sayaka Muramatsu. With a dynamic performance in the water, Takahashi would seal the win with a 12.35 points to Muramatsu’s 8.5.
For the first men’s semi, Kaishu Tanaka took on a Arashi Kato. Kato, who put on a stellar showing at the opening day, once again found himself dominating the heat where he posted an impressive 14.75 points to trump Tanaka’s 5.5. For the second semi, Kaito Ohashi and Taiki Kurokoshi closely vied for the final coveted spot in the final. By heat’s end, Ohashi had edged out Kukokoshi with a 7.30 to 6.75 points.
By the time the girls final donned, both Asako Mizuno and Minato Takahashi were chomping at the bit to hit the water. Takahashi, who hails from Sendai, a town devastated by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami, had the crowd behind her. By the time the heat horn finally blew and signaled the start of the heat, both surfers put on a tremendous show. As the final few seconds ticked away, Takahashi would drop a 4.50 to seal her win and take top honors.
“Thank you everybody,” Takahashi said. “I’d like to thank all of my sponsors and everybody for helping me. I would also like to give a big thanks to the Aomori locals who took care of me and offered up their breaks to surf since I could not train at home after the earthquake. I’m so excited.”
For the 25-minute-long men’s final, Kaito Ohashi and Arashi Kato both looked to put on solid performances while both gunned for the win. Heading into the final, Kato was the inform surfer of the event, collecting excellent scores throughout the contest. In lockstep with his previous heats, Kato showed just why he’s been so deadly at the event and posted two solid scores in the final with a 9.5 and an 8.75 to take the win and the crown.
“Thank you everybody,” Kato said. “I was lucky to take the best waves on offer. I thank my coaches and sponsors as well. I will do my best at the next event.”
ASP Japan Tour Official Wave Forecaster NAMIDENSETSU:
ASP International Japan2011 OAKLEY Pro Junior Final Results:
1st: 250 points, U$2,000: Arashi Kato
2nd: 188 points, U$900: Kaito Ohashi
3rd place, 141 points, U$550: Kaishu Tanaka, Taiki Kuroki
1st:250 points: MInato Takahashi
2nd:188 points: Asako Mizuno
3rd place, 141 points: Rina Kitazawa, Sayaka Muramatsu
The next stop on the ASP Japan 2011 calendar is the Quiksilver Pro Junior Shikoku Open and the Roxy Junior Girls Shikoku Open to be held August 18 to August 20 at Toyo-cho in Kouchi.
The Oakley Pro Junior was proudly supported by following sponsors:
ASAHI SOF DRINKS
Argo Project Co. Ltd.
Ichinomiya Real estate K.K
SYNDICATE Surf Products
ASP International Japan
EI Publishing Co. Ltd.
For further info contact ASP Japan Brach:
2-16-2 1F Kugenuma Kaigan Fujisawa 251-0037
Tel: 0466-30-2888 FAX: 0466-30-2889