Sarah Almagro, competing in the ISA World Para Surfing Championships. / SEAN EVANS

Sarah Almagro wins bronze at the ISA World Para Surfing Championship

The surfer from Marbella made it into the final in California with the best score but fatigue prevented her from taking the gold medal


The Marbella surfer, Sarah Almagro, has won bronze at the ISA World Para Surfing Championships. It is the second successive podium win for the 22-year-old who came third in the tight final at Pismo Beach, California, on Saturday 10 December.

Adverse weather conditions forced the organisers to bring the final forward by one day which meant the elimination of a vital rest day after three days of competition.

Sarah entered the final as the best surfer in her category, Prono2, scoring the best wave score of the tournament with a 9.6 out of 10 points. She got through the semi-finals as top seed and entered the final with the best score of all the surfers, 17.80 out of 20. Everything seemed to be in her favour for the decisive last round to beat her world silver and win gold.

But Sarah reached the final round depleted, after suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting on the morning of the event, to compete against the Australians, Jocelyn Neumueller and Emma Dieters, and Frenchwoman Celine Rouillard.

Despite being sapped of energy in the final round, Sarah said: "There is no justification. This is a top competition, sometimes you win and sometimes you come third. I haven't been able to control my health much. Now I just hope to eat something tonight because I have nothing in my body".

Jocelyn Neumueller finished as champion (with a score of 16.4), Dieters won the silver (scoring 17.26) and Sarah the bronze (scoring 14.9). After the competition, the young surfer thanked her fans in Spain and the support of the whole Spanish national team delegation. "I am very happy to be third in the world, but I have a bittersweet taste. We have surfed very well these days but I didn't arrive in the best condition for the final," she said.