Lisa Anderson in France : photo Tostee
ANDERSENS WILDCARD SETS UP 5TH WORLD TITLE ASSAULT
Sydney, Australia. Monday 14 January, 2002 (NYSE: ZQK): The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) has officially granted Lisa Andersen a full wildcard entry into the 2002 womens World Championship Tour (WCT).
The wildcard to all WCT events will allow Andersen, of Florida, USA, to compete for the 2002 womens world surfing title. The ASP board granted Lisa the wildcard due to her status as a previous four-time world champion (1994-1997) and also because she has been a role model for the latest generation of women surfers.
Andersen didnt compete on the 2001 WCT as she gave birth to her second child, Mason, in June. "I never wanted to retire," Lisa said. "When I finished the tour in September 2000, I´d just won a WCT event in France and I was pretty much on top of everything - then I fell pregnant. I really wanted to come back again and this was the best time for me.
I was thinking maybe I could get a couple of wildcards through Roxy events and then I saw all the emails about Kelly (Slater) getting a full wildcard and I thought it might be a good opportunity for me to apply for the same. I wouldn´t want to do half a year anyway, because I´d want to give it my best and compete for the world title."
The managing director of Quiksilver International, Bruce Raymond, said: Its an extraordinary challenge that Lisa has set herself. As far as I know, returning to the WCT after having a second child is a first. I have no doubt Lisa will take on this task with great aplomb.
Being one of the greatest women surfers of all time, I have no doubt the entire womens tour will benefit greatly from Lisas participation, regardless of her final standing.E
After the birth of Mason seven months ago, Andersen feels she has made a full return to her surfing form and she is looking forward to testing her skills against the current female surfers on tour, as well as rekindling her long-standing rivalry with the current world champion, Australias Layne Beachley.
Andersens resolve to win a fifth world title was reinforced in 2001 when her record of four consecutive world titles was equalled by Beachley.
Praise for Lisas return was echoed by the President of the ASP, Wayne "Rabbit" Bartholomew: "It´s great to have Lisa back in 2002. I think it adds a lot of colour to the women´s tour. Lisa was the first woman to win four consecutive world titles, now Layne has won four in a row so that showdown within the tour is fantastic - not to mention the challenges from the new additions to the tour: Chelsea Georgeson, Sam Cornish and Amy Donoghoe as well as the established surfers like Megan Abubo, Rochelle Ballard and this year´s runner-up, Melanie Redman.
"Lisa announcing her comeback at the same time as Kelly Slater has sparked a great deal of global interest and collectively this augurs well for the future," Bartholomew said. Lisas first appearance on the 2002 womens WCT will be at the Roxy Pro on the Queensland Gold Coast, Australia, from 18-24 March. Quiksilver Press Release.
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