Jordan Mercer Wins ISA Gold With A Broken Heart & Board
6 x World Paddle Board Molokai Champion, 8 x ISA Gold Medalist and Australian Champion Ironwoman Jordan Mercer has won a gold medal at the International Surfing Association’s World SUP & Paddle Board Championships in Denmark.
Mercer was about to board her flight to Denmark on Monday when she was given the heartbreaking news that her uncle Dean had passed away. Dean Mercer was one of the first major Ironman Champions in Australia and together with Jordie’s dad Darren, they achieved national hero status with their legendary achievements. Jordie has followed in her uncle and father’s footsteps with her elite athletic achievements as a paddleboarder and Ironwoman.
In her event today, Jordie courageously took on her competition as strong as ever. The event was fiercely contested from start to finish. Local Danish paddler Katrine Zinck held a consistent lead but after 18 gruelling kilometres around the Copenhagen Harbor, the race came down to a sprint on the final stretch. Jordie was able to find an extra reserve of energy and pull ahead by less than a board length to take the win. New Zealand’s Jessica Miller and Denmark’s Katrine Zinck joined Mercer in the all-out sprint and finished respectively with the Silver and Bronze Medals, with Zinck notably earning the first ISA Medal ever for a Danish woman.
Jordie let her emotions out and expressed her pride after winning her ninth individual ISA Gold Medal.
“Just last night my board arrived at the airport and we discovered that there was a huge crease in it. My teammates along with friends from other competing nations stayed up late last night fixing. The first time I saw my board was this morning before the race and I just had faith that things would go my way. To paddle for 20km and come down to a sprint finish is the toughest way to have a race go so I knew I had to be really technical and be smart, but you really want to try to push as many girls back as you can. I just had to win, not just for me but for my family. They are going through a tough time and deserve this happiness and joy in their lives right now.”
Earlier in the day, the Women’s SUP Distance Race was also held. After 30 minutes into the race Annabel Anderson of New Zealand, established a lead that would only grow as the race went on. Anderson earned the Gold Medal with a commanding lead ahead of the respective Silver and Bronze Medalists, Sonni Honscheid (GER) and Olivia Piana (FRA). USA’s Fiona Wylde rounded out the podium in the Copper Medal position.
“I started out the day with no equipment and only my paddles managed to arrive here in Denmark,” said Annabel Anderson. “I was riding a board I’ve never ridden before and I couldn’t train on the course with my equipment. I just tried to get a feel for the course on the first lap and waited for my chance to attack. I had to ride on borrowed equipment, so it was a great result for me today.”