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03/06/24 | 4:45 pm

Ajeesh Ali crowned champion, Kamali Moorthi defends titles at Indian Open of Surfing

Tamil Nadu surfers swept the top honours in all four categories, Men’s Open, Women’s Open, Groms Boys and Groms Girls, at the fifth Indian Open of Surfing, the official national championship organised by the Surfing Federation of India.

Ajeesh Ali, who competed in the Paris Olympics qualifiers at the 2023 ISA World Surfing Games in El Salvador, was crowned the new IOS champion in the Men’s Open category. Teenage sensation Kamali Moorthi achieved a double victory, winning both the Women’s Open and Groms Girls categories, successfully defending her titles. Another Tamil Nadu teenager, Tayin Arun, impressed the judges with his maneuvers and was crowned the new IOS champion in the Groms Boys & U-16 category.

The three-day premier surfing competition in India concluded today at the pristine Sasihithlu beach in Mangalore, Karnataka. The championship was organized by the Surfing Swami Foundation and hosted by the Mantra Surf Club. Venkata Ramana Akkaraju, Chairman of the New Mangalore Port Authority, and Dhananjaya Shetty, Director of the Surfing Swami Foundation, awarded the winners with cash prizes, trophies, and certificates.

The final day’s action began with the semi-finals of the Groms 16 and Under Boys category. Local favorite Pradeep Pujar led the pack with a score of 8.80, advancing to the finals alongside Prahlad Sriram (8.50), Harish P (8.26), and Tayin Arun (6.76).

Commenting on the surfing conditions, Dylan Amar from Indonesia, who served as the Head Judge at the Indian Open of Surfing, said, “The conditions today were excellent, making this venue highly competitive. Over the three days, the athletes put on an impressive show. If they maintain this level of effort, Indian surfers could soon make it to the Olympics.”

The action then moved to the semi-finals of the Groms 16 and Under Girls category. Tamil Nadu surfers Dhamayanthi Sriram and Mahathi Srinivasabharathi qualified for the finals with scores of 4.57 and 3.54, respectively. Kamali Moorthi, the top seed from Tamil Nadu, had already secured a spot in the finals based on her national ranking.

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