- WSL Title Showdown Goes To Hawaii After Quarterfinal Elimination for John John Florence

- Jordy Smith and Julian Wilson Keep World Title Hopes Alive

 

SUPERTUBOS, Peniche/Portugal (Wednesday, October 25, 2017) - Gabriel Medina (BRA) won the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal, Stop No. 10 on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), in tricky 1 – 1.5 metre waves to clinch the eighth event title of his career, just ten days he secured his seventh title in France.

 

Medina turned the tables on Julian Wilson (AUS) in a rematch of their 2012 final at Supertubos which was narrowly won by the Australian.

 

“I’m really happy right now, I had a goal to just win an event in Europe so to win those two is incredible,” Medina stated. “Now I feel tired, that was a lot of work! Julian (Wilson) got me so many times so it feels good to get one back over him. When he got the score at five minutes I thought ‘Oh My God, not again’, but I kept going and I’m so stoked I won in the end.”

 

Coming into Europe ranked eighth on the Jeep Leaderboard, Medina, the 2014 WSL Champion, rocketed up to second with his back-to-back wins in Hossegor and Peniche and will be the chief threat to John John Florence’s ambitions for back-to-back WSL titles when the tour concludes at Pipeline in Hawaii in December.

 

“Before I wasn’t, but now I’m definitely thinking about the title,” Medina added. “He (Florence) has an advantage with more points but you know anything can happen. I want to surf Pipe so bad, I love that wave and I got some good results there in the past, and nothing’s impossible!”

 

Wilson won every heat on his way to the final and this result keeps his title hopes alive by closing the gap on Jeep front-runner Florence. Previously in sixth place on the Jeep Leaderboard, today’s result sees Wilson move up to fourth.

 

“It was an awesome few days here, we had great challenging conditions before and cute smaller conditions today,” Wilson stated. “We always get a good test coming here to Peniche, it can be intimidating, or super exciting going for big airs. I’m glad we got a couple of exchanges in that heat and congratulations to Gabriel! Thanks Peniche for having us again and supporting us, we all love the wave, the challenge, we really embrace your positivity ”

 

The semi-finals saw Wilson overcome the challenge of Kolohe Andino (USA) in a high-scoring clash before Medina put paid to the hopes of Kanoa Igarashi (USA) in a tighter affair.

 

Current World No. 1 John John Florence (HAW) was unusually out of rhythm in his quarter-final match-up with Andino and was eliminated in equal fifth position.

 

“It was just really hard to find waves out there,” Florence said. “He found two really fun ones but even still it wasn’t those ones we were seeing in the morning. I was excited to get out there and get barreled but couldn’t find them. I get to go home now and I’m really excited to go surf Pipe and hopefully we get some good waves. If I win at home it will be even more meaningful I feel like.”

 

Florence’s 5th place finish means the WSL Title race will head to the final stop on the 2017 Championship Tour at the Billabong Pipe Masters on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii, in December. Four surfers remain in contention heading into the final event: Florence who leads the rankings, Medina, Wilson and South Africa’s Jordy Smith, who was eliminated in Round 3 and dropped from second to third on the Jeep Leaderboard.

 

Florence is the only one of the quartet who has his fate entirely in his own hands and he will win his second consecutive WSL Title if he makes the final at Pipeline and finishes 1st or 2nd.

 

-          If Florence is eliminated in the semis (3rd) or quarters (5th), Medina will need a 1st at Pipe to win the World Title;

-          If Florence is eliminated in Round 5 (9th), Medina will need a 2nd or Smith will need a 1st;

-          If Florence is eliminated in Round 3 (13th) or Round 2 (25th), Medina will need a 5th, Smith a 2nd  or Wilson a 1st  .

 

Event highlights are available via WorldSurfLeague.com and the WSL app.

 

MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Final Results:

1 - Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.26

2 - Julian Wilson (AUS) 10.94

 

MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Semi-final Results:

SF 1: Julian Wilson (AUS) 16.83 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.56

SF 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 11.10 def. Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 6.24

 

MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Quarter-final Match-Ups:

QF 1: Julian Wilson (AUS) 7.50 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 7.40

QF 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.00 def. John John Florence (HAW) 3.80

QF 3: Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 12.50 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 8.44

QF 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 11.33 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 3.17

 

WSL Jeep Leaderboard Top 5 (after MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal):

1 - John John Florence (HAW) 53,350 pts

2 - Gabriel Medina (BRA) 50,250 pts

3 - Jordy Smith (ZAF) 47,600 pts

4 - Julian Wilson (AUS) 45,200 pts

5 - Owen Wright (AUS) 39,850 pts

 

 

 

Pictured: Gabriel Medina (BRA) takes to the air on his way to victory in the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal at Supertubos in Peniche on Wednesday • Photo: WSL / Poullenot

 

About the World Surf League 

The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a truly global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world's best surfing since 1976, running in excess of 180 global events across the Men's and Women's Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport's rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels, and in doing so crowns the undisputed world champions in Men’s, Women’s across all divisions within the tour.

Showcasing the world's best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Tyler Wright, John John Florence, Paige Alms, Grant Baker, Phil Rajzman, Tory Gilkerson, Mick Fanning, Stephanie Gilmore, Kelly Slater, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

 

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