Return Of A Champion

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: July 9, 2009

ISACOSTA RICA — “Yes, yes, I will be in Costa Rica for the ISA World Surfing Games representing Peru in this great event,” affirmed Sofía Mulanovich, the Champion of the 2004 International Surfing Association (ISA) World Surfing Games Ecuador 2004 and the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Championship Tour (WCT) Champion as well. She will return to the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games Costa Rica 2009, which will take place in Playa Hermosa July 31 to August 8, after two absences in California and Portugal.

With the integration of one of the most famous surfers in the world — Mulanovich has won the Surfer Magazine Poll Awards the past three years — the Peruvian adds a cache to the Costa Rica version of the World Surfing Games. For the surfer herself, she is pleased to return to the Games in a Latin American country.

“I am pleased to represent Peru in Latin American countries. Although it is a different experience, it is a place where they speak to you in Spanish. And at the same time, it is better than competing in countries that are far away,” the Peruvian declared.

At the same time that Mulanvich won the World Surfing Games Ecuador 2004, she was able to pull through the best year of the WCT, the Women’s World Tour. With this, she obtained two of the most important surfing titles in the world, a feat obtained solely by Peru in the history of the sport.

With that kind of history to live up to, the country of Peru has summed the best and most recognized of their surfers to profit at the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games Costa Rica 2009.

In doing so, they are a likely favorite to enter the Top 10.

The Peruvian National Surf Team are: Open: Gabriel Villarán, Javier Swayne, Alvaro Malpartida and Matías Mulanovich. Women: Sofía Mulanovich and Analí Gómez. Longboard: Picolo Clemente and Tamil Martino.

Among these names, Peru has offered up Latin American, Pan-American and ASP Junior title winners with surfers Villarán, Swayne and Gómez.

With the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games Costa Rica 2009 already drawing 35 countries to Playa Hermosa, more and more countries are revealing their star players, while some other teams are revealing their full lists.

Venezuela offered the name of Francisco Bellorín, a surfer who dominates the Asociacion of Latinamerica de Surfistas Profesionals (ALAS) Latin American circuit. Argentina, another Hispanic giant that performed with excellence at the Huntington, California World Surfing Games in 2006 and have evolved remarkably since then, will bring 2006 Latin American Champion Martín Passeri and the Latin Longboard BiChampion Martín Pérez.

The múltiple Chilean Junior ALAS Champion Manuel Selman, is a member of his team’s national selection. Selman is currently surfing the WQS, where he is today proudly representing South America in the ASP circuit.

Panama is bringing with them the unique surfer of the región, Gary Saavedra, who is the 13-time Panamanian National Surf Champion, and “The Most Professional” surfer, according to ALAS.

In 2005, Saavedra obtained the Pan-American Subchampionship. Another neighboring country to Costa Rica that will take advantage of the logistics is Nicaragua, who will be making their first appearance at the World Surfing Games.

Their team will be comprised of the Central American Junior Champion Rex Calderón, who is also a Champion in Open and Junior in Nicaragua as well.