Nilbie Blancada’s run in the 2021 ISA World Surfing Games hit a roadblock after late surges from her Chilean and Israeli foes found her dead last in her heat at the end of Round 3, Wednesday morning (Manila time) in El Salvador, Brazil.
Blancada built up her momentum throughout the heat, and eventually carved a 3.83 after two 2.50’s. She zoomed into second place with a total of 6.33, behind Germany’s Noah Klapp, who made two huge runs to put her way up top with 5.50.
The 2019 Southeast Asian Games champion then added on her cushion over Israel’s Anat Lelior and Chile’s Estela Lopez. She scored her second biggest of the day with 3.50, resulting in her final score of 7.33.
With time left still, and unlike the previous round, Blancad eventually saw her score overturned.
The Chilean Lopez got the better of the two runs, pushing the 28-year-old Filipino out of the main draw. Lopez pulled off a 4.37 for a 9.37 total and the second ticket to the next round.
Lelior took third place with a final score of 8.83.
The result sent Blancada into a must-win situation in the third round of repechage.
On the other hand, Vea Estrellado lived to fight another day after almost winning her first round repechage heat.
The 17-year-old stunned everyone with a huge 6.50 to zoom into the early lead, with American Samoa’s Lucille Jarrard coming in close with 6.00.
A 5.50 near the end of the heat pushed her into 12 points, but Jarrard then pulled off a 5.43 to overtake the pole position. The Samoan ended the heat with a flourish with a 6.23 for a 12.23 total.
Nonetheless, Estrellado dodged the elimination axe. She joined the rest of Team Pilipinas, except for Blancada, into the second round of repechage.
The second go-round for repechage is expected to happen on Wednesday at either La Bocana or El Sunzal beach.