Brazil’s Medina overcomes Toledo, shark scare to win third world title


Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games – Surfing – Men’s Shortboard – Bronze Medal Match – Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach, Chiba, Japan – July 27, 2021. Gabriel Medina from Brazil reacts during the REUTERS / Lisi Niesner game

September 14th (Reuters) – The Brazilian Gabriel Medina won his third surfing world championship on Tuesday and on Tuesday defeated his compatriot Filipe Toledo in a new best-of-three final format in the perfect southern California surf.

Not even the appearance of a 1.8-meter-tall shark in the last run could unsettle Medina, who qualified as the front runner for the five-person, one-day event and gave him the luxury of a direct passage to the finals in Lower, in San Clemente.

Hawaii’s Carissa Moore, the reigning Olympic and world champion, crowned a dominant year and won her fifth world title in the women’s final against Brazilian Tatiana Weston-Webb.

In a new format launched this year, the men and women finished in the top five after seven events qualified for the one-day event at Southern California’s premier high-performance reef break.

Both Medina and Toledo unleashed a series of powerful slashing turns and progressive aerial maneuvers in the clean, overhead waves.

But it was Medina who consistently landed the most outrageous moves – including a full backflip in the crucial heat when competition resumed after a hiatus after the shark sighting.

Medina who had the fairness in question Determining the world champion in the new one-day format was the form surfer of the year and ended the seven-stop world tour with two wins and three second places.

“I’m so happy,” said Medina after his victory. “I’m crying right now because there are a lot of emotions, you know.”

In the past, world champions were decided based on the points collected over the year, so the title race was often decided before the final.

In addition to the new format, surfers had to deal with significant disruptions to the world tour due to the coronavirus pandemic, which led to the cancellation of some events after the competition was eliminated in 2020.

Medina paid homage to his compatriots on the tour, the “Brazilian Storm”, who dominated this year and won the sport’s first Olympic gold medal through the 2019 world champion Italo Ferreira.

“The Brazilians are doing so well at the moment. It feels good to push them and they are pushing me,” he said.

Moore’s powerful carves were ideal for the tall green walls of Trestles, but she had to fight back after Weston-Webb came out firing and won the first round of the finals.

“It’s been a crazy back and forth. I’m so happy to be fighting my way back,” said Moore, who won her fourth title in 2019. “Number 5 sounds pretty good!”

Reporting from Lincoln Feast in Sydney; Editing by Toby Davis and Stephen Coates

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