USA Menís Team Dominates The World to Kick Off X Games 13
MVP Chris Ward of the USA Menís Team Scores the First Perfect 10 in X Games History
Puerto Escondido, Mexico - In the final day of the X Games Surfing competition, USA wrapped day two with the first 10 scored in X Games history and swept another gold medal from the World Team. In an intense neck-to-neck battle, both the USA and World Teams showcased the best surfers in the world in front of a crowd of more than 4,500 in attendance at the three-day event. The ocean offered barreling waves breaking from four to six feet high throughout the first period, as it increased to six to eight feet by the start of the second period until the remainder of the competition. The action-packed game ended when USA posted a final score of 81.75 over the World Teamís 81.0 with 12 minutes and 15 seconds remaining on the clock and two unused timeouts.
Kicking off the competition was The World Team in their display of barrels and technical turns which earned them high scoring first period. Standout Australian surfer Julian Wilson earned a 9.5 scoring wave, enough to give The World a significant start in The Gameô.
USA quickly leveled the playing field as Rob Machado answered the World Teamís performance with an opening barrel ride earning a score of 8.0. Following Machado, Clay Marzo and Chris Ward split the next peak as both competitors disappeared deep in the tube and simultaneously reemerged from opposite ends. Their scores of a 7.5 for Marzo and an 8.5 for Ward commanded the lead over The World Team in the first period with 11 minutes remaining on the clock.
The second period although quiet for The World Team was the competition high for the USA as two records were set in X Games history. While the World team struggled with several missed opportunities and a seemingly quiet ocean, USA quickly capitalized on the situation with several high scores posted by Shane Beschen and a perfect 10, eight foot Pipeline-style barrel wave dropped in by Chris Ward as he threw his hands up in celebration at the end of his ride. The USA Teamís performance set the second X Games record with 35 points in a single heat.
The finals came down to the last heat as The World retaliated when Jay Quinn of New Zealand rode the first stand-up tube of the competition as he threw his hands up while being shot out of the other side. Gaining the lead only momentarily, the USA Team needed only 8.75 points to win their opponents. Marzoís last wave decided the fate of the World Team as Beschenís last wave score of a 1.5 was enough to defeat the World.
ďThe action seen here today may be a once in a life time kind of competition. This was by far the best X Games Iíve ever been a part of and itís an honor to work with such talented athletes on the USA team,Ē said USA Head Coach Matt Kechele. ďMike Parsons and I competed on the WCT together in the past and here we are successful linking our different strategies together on the same team.Ē
ďTodayís conditions were flawless. Iím so psyched to have earned the first 10 in X Games history. It was one of the best and most important 10ís Iíve ever posted,Ē said an elated Ward, who was the MVP of The Gameô. ďSurfing is an open field and itís not set-up like ramps are, so we have to be patient and flow with ocean until it gives us what we need. Iíve been surfing this break since I was 14, and I knew the perfect wave was coming.Ē
X Games Surfing sport organizer and NSL Commissioner Brad Gerlach commented, ďIím so overjoyed with the sport of surfing. Today we made X Games history with the first 10 wave by Chris. Yesterday, the USA Women were the underdogs and ended coming out on top. They were full of bravado, teamwork, energy and spirit. They set the stage for the menís competition today and the men aimed just as high.Ē He added, ďThe ocean is mysterious and you have to flow with the waves it gives you. The men made all the right calls today and the energy in both dugouts were just amazing.Ē
TiburÚnes Team Captain David Rutherford earned a spot on the World Team after his team won the Localís Game on July 2. Recognizing the talent of the townís local surfers, Gerlach incorporated the Puerto Specialist in The Gameô to tie Rutherford in the already diverse international team. The TiburÚnes clenched the win over the Malaguas with a close score of 52 to 47 in an exciting neck-to-neck battle. Christian Corzo posted a score of 9.5 after pulling a disappearing act in a deep barrel and shooting out the other end. Coaching staff and judges adapted the rules of The Gameô to unify X Games competitors with the natives of Puerto Escondido.
Replay capabilities, event highlights and on-demand post-event coverage of the Men and Women Surfing competitions are available on www.expn.com. The Surfing Menís Final will broadcast on ABC Sat., Aug. 5 at 4 p.m. ET and the Surfing Womenís Final will be televised at 9:30 p.m. ET.
ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC will provide 14 hours of live programming August 2-5 as well as X Games 13 coverage on ESPN International, EXPN.com, ESPN Classic, ESPN360.com, SportsCenter and ESPN2ís X Center. X Games 13 will be televised on ESPN International to more than 120 countries and territories in Canada, the Pacific Rim, Middle East, Africa, Orbit and Israel.
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