Hussain Areef (Ibu) has advanced to the fourth round of the Men’s Open Division in the ASF Asian Surfing Championship being held in Thulusdhoo, Kaafu Atoll.

Ibu claimed first place in the final heat of the third round on Tuesday morning.  He scored 6.23 points for his first wave and 6.83 points for his third for a total of 13.06 points in the heat.

Japanese young surfer Taro Takai finished second in the heat. Taro scored 11.77 points. Hussain Naseeh (Chika), who competed with Ibu in the heat, finished third with a total of 6.70 points. Sivaraj Babu of India rounded up the heat with 4.17 points. 

Besides Ibu and Chika, the other Maldivian surfer to compete in the third round was Ismail Miglal (Kuda Isse). He finished third in the second heat with 6.67 points. Japan’s Ricky Sato won the heat with 16.17 points while India’s Danny Vidianto finished second with 14.17 points.

There will be two heats in the fourth round of the main event. Three surfers will compete in each heat. Ibu will compete in the second heat against Japan’s Riki Sato and Ikko Watanabe. The best two athletes from each heat will be selected for the fifth round. The third-placed surfers will qualify for the fifth round of the repechage event.

The Maldivian contingent put up a good fight in the second round, with Adam Mueen Ibrahim, Jailam Nizar, Abdulla Areef (Fuku), Hoodh Ahmed (Hoobz), and Ahmed Agil (Ammadey) all vying for success. However, while five athletes, unfortunately, failed to proceed to the third round, they managed to secure spots in the repechage event, offering them another chance to prove their mettle.

In the second round, featuring six heats, Chika emerged as a frontrunner, finishing second in the first heat. Competing alongside Mueen and Jailam, Chika accumulated a commendable 8 points. The heat was ultimately won by Japan’s Ikko Watanabe, scoring 18.67 points, including a perfect 10-point wave. Mueen secured 7.07 points, while Jailam obtained 6.20 points.

Kuda Isse, participating in the third heat, clinched second place with an impressive 8.17 score. Topping the heat was Sivaraj Babu from India, with 8.47 points. His peer Sanjay Selvamani achieved 7.83 points, followed closely by Ramesh Budihal with 7.13 points.

Ibu demonstrated his prowess in the final heat, earning the victory and securing his place in the third round. Ibu astounded the judges with his exceptional performance, amassing an impressive 9.94 points. Zihao Wu from China secured second place with 7.90 points.

Hoobz, who competed in the fourth heat, secured third place with 8.54 points. Lakshita Madushan from Sri Lanka triumphed with 8.67 points, while Kaise Adachi of Japan secured the first spot with 10.64 points. Afridun Amu from Afghanistan finished fourth with 3.97 points.

Ammadey, who dominated the first round, was only able to get 7.23 points in the fifth heat of the second round. Danny Vidianto from Indonesia emerged victorious in the heat, impressing the judges with 16.84 points. 

Mueen will compete in the first heat of the repechage event, while Ammadey and Jailam will fight for redemption in the second heat. Hoobz will participate in the fourth heat, while Fuku will be surfing in the fifth heat.